We have handed over the keys and are now “of no fixed address.” We aren’t truly homeless in that we still own a condo (see A slight detour) that we could potentially return to, but we have no plans to do so.
Over the last few months we have freed ourselves from almost all of our possessions using the methods below in the order they are listed:
- Nearby family members (son, daughter-in-law, grandson) had the pick of anything they wanted. They have taken the opportunity to refresh some of their household goods like dishes, small appliances, linens, and furnishings.
- Not-so-near family members willing to pick up (sister and brother-in-law) have taken a few pieces of furniture, appliances and art as contributions to their new Sunshine Coast, BC, cottage.
- Kijijii.com helped us to sell many items and add a few dollars to our savings account.
- My business-appropriate clothing went to the Walk-in Closet program at the Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta.
- Ken’s business wear–suits, shirts, ties, shoes–went to the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre.
- We Freecycled about 100 good-quality items in at least 4 batches. Yes, it was a lot more work than throwing things in a box and dropping them at Goodwill. But some months back we took a box of carefully packed household items to Goodwill and watched as it was unceremoniously dumped into a huge bin, possibly breaking some and certainly separating others from their lids or matched sets. It was much more satisfying to me to post pictures and descriptions and to have individuals express interest and then make the effort to pick up the things that they wanted.
- Goodwill was the recipient of one final, last-minute box of odds and ends.
So what is left? We still have:
- For travel: two suitcases and two backpacks containing clothes, shoes, personal items, electronics, and a few kitchen helpers (water filter, two favourite knives, small spice stack); and a camera bag containing two mirrorless camera bodies, one flash, and a selection of lenses that work on both.
- Our car, which is packed with all of the above and our camping gear. We are driving from Calgary, Alberta, to Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday and will leave the car in Vancouver while we are away. The camping gear is in the car for two reasons: storage, as camping is part of our Life: Phase Next plan so we aren’t ready to get rid of it; and to use when we return to Canada (remember, we are now homeless!).
- In our storage locker (no additional cost as we have use of it as long as we own our condo): skis, ski and winter activity clothing, extra summer clothing that we will enjoy having access to next summer when the clothes we are traveling with are worn thin (or our interest in wearing them has), a few tools for condo maintenance, a box of our favourite pots, fishing rod and box, sewing machine.
And that’s it. Not much to show for the five or six decades that we have been on this earth. And that makes us both extremely happy!