I find myself in a similar predicament, though I believe my health is fine. We are moving. The last time I moved, I went from a house that was three times the size of the one we’re selling now. I was careful about giving or throwing much of my stuff away.
This time, I’m being brutal. My father left me a set of first-edition leather-bound books that are going to my son, along with the huge bookshelves I bought for them. I made the decision to pass these along far later than I should have. I’ve also made a sign that says “Free to Good Home” for the light pole out front, and that’s where I leave griddles, bundt pans and other things I’ll never use. So far, everything has been picked clean, and I’m glad. My husband insists he’s throwing out anything that wouldn’t fit into his Mach 1 Mustang — a car he owned back in the glory days, the ’70s. To one-up him, I’ve told him I will winnow and shift to fit everything into a backpack (which I did once, back when I moved off to Maryland to go to college). (OK, I shipped six large boxes of stuff that followed me a few weeks later, but for a while? I was awesome in my own head.)
The funny thing about stuff is that it takes on this incredible weight. I won’t get my stuff down to a backpack. I have probably 50 boxes of books I’m not giving away. I’ve still got photo albums, the occasional winter coat, a pair of cowgirl boots that follow me everywhere.
But what if you had to pick through your stuff and fit everything into a backpack? Or a Mach 1? What would you take? What would you leave?