Which do you want first: the good news or the bad news?

OK, the good news. I made it out of the storage trap, and in record time!

Thank you, thank you…you’re too kind. (I assume you’re applauding. If not, my bad—I’ll wait ‘til your hands are free.)

What’s that you say? Oh right, the bad news. Well, good news, because even the bad news has good news. That good news is that I now have plenty of room for houseguests!

Alright, fine…I told myself I wasn’t going to be coy again this time.

The bad news is this: I’m now renting a 4-bedroom house with a 2-car garage and a huge yard.

What’s that you say? That doesn’t sound so bad? You may not be hearing what I’m hearing. You’ve kinda got to lean in close…there’s another voice behind that main headline one, kinda sneaky and whispering. Wait—shh-shh-shh—you can hear it…listen:

I’m going to take on tons of new stuff over the next 6 months.

There it is! It’s a wily one, that little truth. Oh, shh…I think there’s more…

I’m keeping a lot of the things from storage that I had planned to give away.

Ouch, that one stung a little. Though to be fair, I fi-

I’m spending 600 bucks to truck the rest of my shit across the state.

Jeez, OK, we get it! No need to get rude, little whispering voice!

The little whispering voice does have some good points, I can’t deny that. But what can I say? In my rental search, the place that ended up being perfect in many ways just happened to have 4 bedrooms…and 2 baths, a kitchen, a living room, the aforementioned cavernous garage, a patio…

You get the idea. I have a lot of space. After 8 years of trimming down from a full household worth of stuff to just a one-room cabin full, and then paring that down to a single truckload for my cross-state relocation, I now have room upon room upon room to fill with who-knows-what. And that’s most likely exactly what I’m going to do.

I can hear you moaning from here. You’re thinking, “You don’t need to fill the rooms, Lance! Bla bla bla yada yada bla bla!”

I may have tuned you out a little at the end there, because honestly, I’ve been sitting in this house for almost three weeks now, and I don’t believe there’s anyone out there who would be able to let all these rooms just sit completely empty. It’s downright weird.

Plus, since I have the big house, I really can have stay-over family members and guests and stuff, which hasn’t really been an option for the past decade or so. But those folks aren’t going to sleep on the floor in their choice of weird barren bedroom. Nor are they going to be able to share the one chair in the house.

So it’s accumulation time. So be it. I’ll have couches, and chairs, and beds, and a hobby room, and all that good stuff. I wouldn’t even rule out a dining room table. And a night table, a coffee table, end tables…I’ll run the whole table gamut!

But I don’t think we need to worry too much. I’m not likely to forget the lessons I’ve learned in my journey condensing my “necessaries” down to the minimum. I really did get it down pretty close to a pickup-truck-full.

I know what I need now, and it’s not much. The possessions that I feel real attachment to could all fit easily into any of the smallest rooms in this big house. And I’ve already got my “Everything for Free” yard sale penciled in for 6 months from now if I’m not feeling the whole “household” vibe when my lease runs out. I’ll say goodbye to all that new stuff as quickly as I said hello.

If I’ve learned nothing else during this whole long journey, I’ve learned that there is much to be gained from not owning things, and there is great joy to be had in letting go of the stuff you’ve accumulated.

So I guess that’s the actual real good news: I’ve stumbled upon a terrific opportunity to give away almost everything I own—again.

Here’s hoping it’s as fun and rewarding as it was the first time!

Lance Brown can be found at http://lancebrown.org. Archives of his column can be found here.