For the last couple weeks, I’ve been making a desultory effort to literally lighten my load – the moving company charges by weight for storage, and the less to pack, the better. Like most people, I suspect, I’ve for years been hanging on to too much I’ll never again listen to, fit into or use. Some of it, such as my grandmother’s costume jewelry and beaded party sweater, I simply can’t bear to let go.
But I’ve made great headway into cleaning out my closet. Yesterday, I donated to Dress for Success (a non-profit that helps women entering or re-entering the workforce with appropriate clothing and coaching, among other things) a backseat full of business clothes that I hope will help make a newly employed (or soon to be employed) woman feel at least a little bit empowered.
I, on the other hand, feel empowered by saying goodbye to those eight suits, 34 pairs of dress pants and 15 or so skirts, silk blouses, twin sets and other business non-casual items I hope I’ll never have to wear again (I did keep the only suit that still fits, just in case).
But here’s the depressing (and rather shocking) thing: I added up the cost. I’m claiming $4,000 on the donation form (that I’ll no doubt lose before tax time next year). The actual amount I paid for those items over the years is probably closer to $6,000.
On our local online bulletin board this morning, I posted a couple of free-for-the-taking items, including a barely used NordicTrack ($500), the lovely L-bracket “joinery” pine shelves I built in 1988 or so (the first piece of functional furniture I ever made, actually…still standing – priceless!), a microwave and a few other ridiculous things that for some reason I carried to the third floor instead of giving them away initially (a Mickey Mouse waffle iron, for example – I don’t even like Mickey Mouse. I’m more of a Looney Tunes girl.) They’re all already claimed, and some are already out of the house.
Then, I boxed up my cassettes, both the commercial ones and the little-heard (and not worth hearing) ones of me playing the piano and singing in a school musical. Not to mention the 20 or so tapes I recorded while listening to Kasey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown (or is it Kountdown?) on Sunday mornings. I sure liked Chicago. Total cost (for the commercial ones): around $3,000. I’m sending those off to GreenDisk tomorrow for recycling.
That CD case at left is only about half of them; I have seven 100-slot CD wallets full, too. On the commercial ones alone, I spent enough to cover the cost of the new roof.
Do stores still buy/sell used CDs? I hear vinyl is the hot new thing (unfortunately, those I unloaded prior to my last move). I’ve made a list of the ones in decent shape; perhaps I’ll shop it around.
I’m not complaining, mind you – merely stating fact. I enjoyed wearing those clothes (for a while); it was (and still is) rewarding to finally have a professional job after a decade as a sales clerk, barista and bartender. And I had a great many great evenings and road trips listening to that music (yes, even the Chicago) – I wouldn’t trade any of that.
I have the memories; I no longer need the physical manifestations thereof. Still, it’s difficult to let them go.