Cleaning, Tossing, Donating, Decluttering.....then Packing / by Alan Strathman

Life is not easy for a packrat with no fixed address. I can't help but to collect things, always thinking one day I might find a use for them. But as someone who no longer has a fixed address I must stay mobile. 

Before I left for the PC in June 2015, I sold or donated almost everything I owned. I admit that I probably should have kept a few more things than I did. Like a winter coat. But at the time I felt like I needed to be free of my earthly possessions.

I arrived here in St. Lucia with two suitcases and a carry-on. And now, the question is whether I can fit everything I have now, after 27 months, in two suitcases and a carry-on. I am just at the very beginning of the packing process but I can already tell you the answer is no. And that is despite leaving here much of the stuff I brought. For example, I arrived here with a pillow, two sets of sheets, two bath towels, two hand towels, and two face cloths (matching of course). And none of that am I taking home. So with all that space freed up surely I would have enough room for whatever I accumulated here. Nope!

On Sunday I began sorting through all the stuff that completely filled my large set of shelves. I was not yet done with this task when I took this picture:

There is a little of everything in this pile a lot of paper. During the many and varied PC trainings we experienced we all collected vast amounts of paper.  I will scan in a small number of pages and the rest will end up in a pile. Monday and Thursdays are trash days and I put out 5 bags of trash today.

All I can say at this point, like I did in 2015, some tough decisions will have to be made. I hope I can find someone to make them.