Decluttering Anew

Once again, we’re decluttering.

Before we began serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, we spent months giving away books, clothes and other stuff, reducing our possessions to what we could cram into a small storage room in our house and the two suitcases we were each allowed to bring to Moldova.

It was exhausting but liberating — good mental preparation for leading a simpler life. As I wrote then, “We feel like we’re unloading the excess baggage of our old lives. Already we can sense how this lighter load will give us more flexibility to seek adventure and embrace what life has to offer.”


Now we’re going through a similar process anew, sifting through boxes of language materials, teaching materials, tourist brochures, souvenirs and other things we’ve accumulated during the past two years. Once again we’re making three piles: “Keep,” “Give Away” and “Trash,” plus some books and other things we need to “Return” to Peace Corps or our work sites.

IMG_3620As before, “Keep” must fit into two suitcases each. It’s a lot easier this time since we’re leaving behind many of the clothes we brought — worn-out socks, yes, but also shirts and other items we’re now placing into our second pile.

That’s “Give Away,” which we’re doing with local friends and a nearby donation center. IMG_3628We’re also placing items in a special room of the Peace Corps lounge where departing volunteers leave things for those still serving. We found some great things there ourselves and now it’s our turn to pay it forward.

Pile Three, “Trash,” is smaller since our host grandmother will welcome anything flammable to burn next winter in the small fireplace in her room. We already have a couple of boxes of paper for her.


Champa and I will store our four suitcases at the Peace Corps office while we travel for two weeks with carry-on bags before heading home. We’ll hope to keep the recluttering under control after we get back.

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