Decluttering: Too Many Vehicles

I’ve kinda stalled on my decluttering process in recent weeks. My hours at work have increased so buy the time I get home I’m tired. I think I’m thinking too big and I might try tackling smaller projects in the future. Maybe a stack of papers here or a drawer there. A little progress is better than none, right?

I did do something big back in March. Something that caused a few of my friends to threaten to Baker Act me. I consolidated some vehicles. At one time, last year, I had three vehicles. Now, I have one. It wasn’t a quick process. Deciding to sell one of them took almost 5 years.

The quickest vehicle I sold was my mother’s truck. Having an older truck around the house would have been nice for hauling things to the dump but after about a month I decided I was being silly and I just simple didn’t like her truck. Within 2 months of her death, I had sold it to my neighbors oldest daughter dirt cheap.

This left me with a brand new Ford Exploder and The Jeep.

The Exploder (yes, I mean to use Exploder) had been purchased less than a week before Mom’s stroke. I hadn’t even made a payment on it when she died. We had purchased it to help with Mom’s new life. It was easier for her to get in and out of, there were various safety features that assisted in driving and braking, and there was more room for her various medical stuff while we traveled. It was a very nice truck and we had gotten a really good deal on it. I inherited enough to pay it off after making the request three payments. It was paid for, so it was easy to decide to keep this one.

The Jeep. I had bought my Jeep, brand new, in 2004. There wasn’t anything particularly special about my Jeep. I had built it up just enough for my needs, but it was still a rather simple Jeep. It had been a second vehicle since 2007, when I had bought a large Ford F150 STX 4x4 through Military Car Sales while I was deployed to Afghanistan. I used the Ford, mainly, to haul the Jeep around between duty stations. As most Jeep owners do, I loved my Jeep. It was an extension of me. I probably took better care of my Jeep then I did of myself. The first blip of selling it didn’t show on a radar until late 2011, after I moved back to Florida. I hate wheeling in Florida. It’s not fun. There are no mountains to climb over and nothing really of note to go look at. The feeling didn’t stick. I love my Jeep. We’d been trough a lot together.

The second radar blip showed in 2014. By then, the F150 had been replaced with a Toyota RAV4 that my mom and I shared for traveling. I drove the Jeep daily but did little off roading. I went to a couple off road Jeep events but I had never really felt comfortable hanging out with the Jeep or off roading crowd. I didn’t mention the thought to anyone. Instead, I got in my Jeep and went for a drive and let the thought pass.

In January 2016, I was standing in front of my carport staring at two large, gas guzzling, vehicles and I thought, “This is stupid.” It’s just me, a chihuahua, and two cats that I don’t really want. Why do I need two vehicles, one of which I rarely even drive? I was driving the Exploder almost exclusively. I’d take the Jeep out, maybe, once a week just to keep it operational. I had fallen into a job and didn’t have time for the off roading that I didn’t like anyway. Of course, I then drove the Jeep and thought, “Nope. Can’t do it.”

But then, I did.

Late in March I posted on Facebook that The Jeep was available for sale. My friends nearly broke Facebook. Mostly, they were concerned about my mental health. The thing about old Jeeps is that they still have a high resale value, but arranging for financing for an older vehicle isn’t easy. You basically need a cash buyer. This isn’t to say that it took a long time to sell The Jeep. Within a few days of posting about it, I traded it and the Exploder in for a Toyota Prius. I know, it was a radical change.

Because both The Jeep and Exploder were paid off, I ended up driving off the lot with Judas Prius and a nice check. The Prius suits my current driving needs, my insurance bill has drastically dropped, and I’ve only bought three tanks of gas since I bought it. Do I miss The Jeep? No. If I ever move out of Florida I might change my tune, but for now, I’m good.

That Other Thing I've Been Working On

There’s this other thing I’ve been doing. I actually started a few months after my mom died. Well, I supposed I started the day after my mom died. It was on that day that my sister and an uncle made me go through my mom’s closet and get rid of all of her personal effects. Clothes, toiletries, medical stuff that was around the house, it all got bagged up and hauled over to the Humane Society Thrift Shop. Well, some the medical stuff was donate to hospice or a nursing home, but the point was that it didn’t stay here and I had to start immediately. I’ve talked to a few people that didn’t start immediately after a loved ones death, and well, they never started.

My sister and uncle didn’t insist that I keep going, just that I start. So, I started. After they left, I finished clearing out mom’s room. I pulled everything out and got rid of a good chunk of her bedroom furniture (none of it was family furniture). Then, I went on vacation. It was a preplanned trip, and I decided that mom would kick my ass if I didn’t go just because she had died. Plus, I was going to one of her favorite parts of the country. I had a fun trip, but it was hard because she was supposed to have gone with me. When I got back, I was a bit of a depressed bum for a few months, but eventually I had to make the house mine. So, I started decluttering again.

I have often thought that it would have been easier if I hadn’t inherited the house. If I had to prep the house for sale, I wouldn’t have time to analyze mom’s things. I’d have to make a decision to keep something or get rid of it quickly. I’ve heard of this process of handling your items and if they don’t bring joy to you, get rid of it. It comes from a minimalism movement that I don’t know the name of. I’m not very sentiment when it comes to my own things. I find memories more in my head, or heart, rather than objects. I have had a little stumbling block about this when it comes to my mothers things. Why did she keep such-and-such item? Where did she get it? Is there a story there?

The reduction of stuff in MY house bought on some other changes in Casa O’Neill. Namely, the amount of stuff that was being recycled. Everything that has left the house has either gone to a new home or it went to the Humane Society Thrift Shop (mom’s preferred local charity). Very rarely have I just thrown things away. I have sold a few things. But mostly, I’ve given my mom’s things to people that needed them or would bring them joy. This was the state of mind I was in when I stumbled across the first video I saw about products that lie about being cruelty free. Currently, I think I’m doing better with the cruelty free than the decluttering. But, I’ve got a new job, slowly increasing hours, a bunch of distracting interests, and a bazillion books to read. I am working on it, just, slowly. I’m okay with that.

I had help with today's post from another part of my inheritance, Rudy Monster.

I had help with today's post from another part of my inheritance, Rudy Monster.