Heather Kristian Strang | Saying Good-Bye to My Stuff


01 Feb / Saying Good-Bye to My Stuff

As my impending move to Kauai, Hawaii looms before me (3 weeks away!), my “stuff” is slowly decreasing. I’ve decided to make this move economical, which means selling virtually everything I own and starting fresh in Kauai. I’ve never been a “stuff” person – I live in a 400 sq. ft. studio for god’s sake! But, when faced with parting with every single one of my belongings, bizarre attachments began coming up.

Like my books.

They are literally the story of my life. Each book, from my early Agatha Christie paperbacks to my stack of memoirs to my feminist books from college and my beloved Abraham-Hicks publications share a piece of my life. Each book marks a point of growth, a break-up, a new development, a new career–so much.

I found myself sorting my books into stacks: what I’ll take to Kauai (via USPS), what I’ll store (thanks mom!) and what to take to Powell’s to sell. Guess which was the smallest pile? I kept finding reasons to keep books (it was my first book on freelance writing, purchased 7 years ago after all!) meanwhile reminising about their impact on my life.

And then there’s the stuff that decides to show itself during a move–from past relationships, jewelry I was sure I lost and clothes that no one should ever wear. I mean never, ever. I don’t know what I was thinking (about the boys or the clothes!).

Let’s also not forget about the journals. I prefer handwritten poetry and journal entries, which means a storage container full of my life’s travels. It seems silly to keep them, but I also can’t imagine throwing them away. What is one beautiful life, if not the words and photos that documented it in a way a BMW or a huge house never can?

Speaking of material possessions like cars, I sold my car on Craigslist and even that was tough. It wasn’t anything special either. While my younger sisters have preferred to spend lots of cash on pimped out rigs, I’ve always preferred simple and practical vehicles. They depreciate anyway, right? Even so, I’ll miss Sheila, my white Toyota Corolla–she was a good car.

So, I’m selling it all and trying not to feel too sad–because when I’m spending every day in 80 degree weather, living a huge part of my dream life, am I really going to wish for that Hemingway book or a pair of sneakers? Probably not.

Saying good-bye to my stuff has been an excellent lesson for me about attachment. I’ve always viewed myself as a very non-materialistic person–I don’t need to spend lots of money on stuff and I certainly don’t need a lot of stuff. I am however, discovering my sentimental side, as I keep handmade Christmas ornaments, my Buddhas, hordes of photos (before digital cameras yo), beautifully written cards and lovely gifts. I will be shipping far more than I intended to Kauai, simply because I realized the things in life that really matter to me. Who woulda thought?

Oh, and if you need dishes or candles or a table or a camera or a bookcase, let me know. I just may have something for you. 🙂

Happy Writing!

By Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized
1 Comment
  • Anonymous


    I read your blog often. Thank you for sharing your stories (and great recipes). I know exactly what you mean about getting rid of the “stuff” of your life. My husband and I are moving to our first house and I am going through the same thing…wanting to save all those books and things that make me who I am, or at least who I think I am.

    What a crazy and exciting adventure for you, though! You are making room to discover more parts of yourself in Hawaii. Best of luck to you,

    Chris Carnal, Ithaca, NY

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