Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday: Everything Must Go (including us)

Bob and I just had a lunch pow wow over noodles about everything we need to accomplish this week.

ITEM NUMBER 1: Sell Everything.

No problem. That's totally easy. You know what would be easier? Donating everything. Hmmm... we did consider that. But we have this big debt we're chiseling away at... chipping away at everything that isn't a work of art. Shedding, chipping, stripping it all away. What's left? The simple life. Each other and peace of mind.

Bob said, "I'm already there. I already feel a lightness even though I know we have this massive debt. Because I'm not afraid anymore. The fear is gone."

Ahhhhhhhh. Thank you, Bob. Perspective. We keep giving it back to each other. Passing it back and forth and in our best moments, sharing it.

But I digress. How are we selling everything? A combination of Craigslist and a big ol' estate sale. When? This weekend. June 13th & 14th.

ITEM NUMBER 2: Plan our departure.

It's official. We're leaving L.A. On June 19th. Or 20th. Well, we have to figure out if we're leaving the evening of the 19th or the morning of the 20th. We were going to stay until we closed on the house (which is June 27,) but then we realized that once we sell all of our furniture including lighting, plates, dishes, utensils, bedding, etc. we would essentially have to camp out in our house. And if we're going to be camping, we'd much rather camp out on the beach or somewhere in Oregon (where I've never been) or in some fabulous place. Not our house. That's just depressing.

So... we are having our big estate sale this weekend and hopefully selling everything. We'll use the rest of next week to handle the rest. Then we will pack up our car with only the bare essentials and head out on an adventure.

The start of a new life. New because we have a new mantra: Less is more.

ITEM NUMBER 3: Work, work, work.

Bob is working very hard on a deadline this week. I'm handling everything house-related so that he can focus on work. But, I'm also scoping out job opportunities and writing as much as possible. Oh... and working out. Yes, Bob and I have joined forces in the fitness arena and have begun to work out every day. It's not easy, but it sure feels great to be working out again! With everything going on we have to get up at 5 to get a workout in, but it's worth it. (I lost 2 pounds last week! Woo!)

We do know where we're headed. To Chicago. We plan to be there until November. Why? Well, we'll be living with my family until we can figure out where to live in the city. I want a view of the lake. Is this too much to ask? Possibly. Though Bob works from home and can technically live anywhere, there's actually a lot going on in Chicago with his company. So that's good. And for me. Well, I love Chicago in the summer. Being near family will be so great. And old friends I haven't seen in so long. Wrigley Field. Chicago theatre. I'm excited. I already have one job lead. I'm workin' it.

So now you're mostly caught up.

I wish I were more coherent today. More insightful. I just want to say that I've been getting wonderful feedback from readers as well as fantastic suggestions. I hear you. Please keep writing in as I take all of your suggestions to heart.

I've got all kinds of stuff marinating in my head. My goal is to continue to reflect on our experience as we're experiencing it and share it as openly as possible... while trying to understand it all at the same time.

The other night I asked Bob why does he think we're happier now than we were before. We've been talking about that a lot. And I'm working on getting to the heart of that in a specific way. We both agree that it's not just one thing. But that we are and continue to be happier than ever before.

Like this bed? Live in L.A. and want to buy it? E-mail us at:

UPDATE: Apartment Therapy LA blogged about the sale. They've got tons of pictures up there. We're slowly stripping away the anonymity (or ripping it off like a band-aid) and it's a bit scary. But it is what it is.

Their post is very nice. Thanks, Apartment Therapy! Check it out:

Silver Ridge House Tour Residence Everything Goes Sale - Apartment Therapy


AMG said...


Thank you for this post. Your attitude during this speed bump on the road of life is truly inspiring. I wish you and Bob the best of luck in your new life!


Jennifer said...

Your entries continue to bring tears to my eyes -- not because of the loss you are going through, but because of the love and support that you and your husband continue to show one another. It's such a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing with us ...

Anonymous said...

I have trouble believing this happened to you; I find your attitude amazing. I think (from reading an earlier post) that your
Mother was right, it's how you deal with things that matter.

You are both amazing. I will keep you both in my thoughts this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Please be careful leaving your house empty for a week before the closing, now that you've advertised that. (A lot of damage can be done, even to an empty house.) Hopefully a neighbor can watch it.

Christine said...

I came here from Apartment Therapy and just have to say I find your attitude and writing so inspiring and refreshing. To live in the moment, to appreciate what we have - these are lessons we all need.

Best of luck with the sale - wish I lived in LA so I could come by!

Karen said...

If you sell it all, what will you put in the Chicago apt with the lake view? Seriously, I'm not trying to be obnoxious. I'm just curious. Maybe I missed something? I imagine you won't get very much for the stuff and then to replace it will cost an awful lot. Is it the cost of shipping it that is prohibitive?

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

Hi new readers from Apartment Therapy! Welcome!

Anonymous- Don't worry... we have at least three dedicated neighbors watching the house! Thank you for your concern. That's definitely an unfortunate reality- people destroying vacant homes. And we're taking that into consideration.

Karen- about the Chicago apartment... well, here's the thing. We came to the decision to sell everything because A. We didn't want the hassle to transport anything B. We can't afford to transport everything and/or store it and C. We thought it would be a wonderful exercise for us.

We see this as a an opportunity to completely let go and stand in 'nothing' both literally and figuratively. We have had such an attachment to material things that we are choosing to let them all go. It was Bob's idea and at first I was a big NO. But I came around and am now really excited about it. It's a challenge.

What will we put in the apartment? Well, I don't even know if we'll be in an apartment. We will start out in my mom and stepdad's basement while we work, save money and hunt for a living situation we can afford in the city.

We've thought about house sitting. Then we wouldn't need furniture. Or finding a short term furnished rental.

And if we don't find either of those, my mom has said that between her stuff and her friends' stuff they could piece enough together to give us the basics for an apartment.

No matter what, we continue to think creatively. We are still longing for that Airstream. Perhaps we'll win the Mike's Hard Lemonade sweepstakes ( and our new home will not be an apartment with a view of the lake, but a silver bullet with a view of wherever we park it.

My goal is to really embody the 'less is more' philosophy and think creatively. The new readers who arrived here via Apartment Therapy can relate to that, I'm sure. That's why I read Apartment Therapy. This is their mission:

What We Believe
A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world.

Creating this home doesn’t require large amounts of money or space. It requires inspiration, connection to resources and motivation to do something about it.

The basic elements of good home design can be learned and achieved by all.

Simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.

So, it's all an adventure and what we're creating now is a blank slate. With a blank slate everything and anything is possible.

As always, thanks for your comments, questions and concern!

Kim Hooper said...

I'm SO excited for your adventure (though I'm sad you're leaving California and I haven't even seen you guys in AGES). You seem to have such a great perspective and I have all the faith that things will turn out just fine for you guys. "Starting over," while scary, is also very exhilarating. I'm sure it's hard to let go of things, but liberating too. I get a sense of real peace from you. You MUST stay in touch. I'm still trying to figure out if I can make it to your estate sale after my friend's wedding. It would be nice to see you guys...

kaballera said...

Dedicated house-watching neighbor #4 here!

And I will definitely be by early on Saturday to say hello and maybe do a little shop...

Much love to you all!

Melissa Chacko said...

hello there,
I'm doing the reverse move - Chicago to LA and would love to touch base with you. Funny how things work out! Email me with any questions re: moving to Chicago, I would love to help you out!

G in Berlin said...

I think the feeling of serenity you are talking about is a result of several things. 1. You are now working together to a goal. 2. The goal is visible and you can feel yourself moving to it. 3. You are through the stages of grief and have made it to acceptance.

I'm glad. Read about you in BW and was interested- we moved to Germany to allow us to downsize our costs enough to be a 1 earner family after buying in the Metro area at the height, so we are always interested in the subject and fellowfeel.

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