I am so very fortunate to have a friend who is among other things, a professional life coach. Bryn Johnson is really good at lists and organization, and we met at a coffee shop yesterday afternoon to talk about my transition.
I live in a small (625 square foot) West Village apartment, so I don’t have a ton of “stuff” and am used to living in a fairly small space. And yet, in order to be able to sublet my apartment, I’ll have to pare down, edit, cull, and curate what I do own over the next few months, so when it’s time, I’ll be ready to hit the road. I already know that I need to:
Plan, and pack the things I need to take along, some books to read, Mac and mobile modem, or My-Fi on my phone from Verizon? Shall I buy/bring a small printer/scanner? Print at copy shops and Staples? Surely, I need to pack the iPad, iPod, and chargers.
Find secure storage for my tax and financial records, important books and photos,
Back up my digital info to the cloud or somewhere safe.
Free-cycle the things I own that I don’t use to a new home (like that dancer’s roller in the closet)
Edit the clothing in my closet. Get rid of “other” sized clothes, and anything that routinely needs to be ironed is definitely is going, or going into storage.
OK, I am totally overwhelmed. Bryn quickly helped me get past that by telling me to take out a legal pad and just catalogue what I own. This would involve taking a number of slow walks around my apartment to meditate on the different areas. She said I should sit down in front of a closet or cabinet, a shelf unit, or specific area of my place, and just look at that small manageable area. Then, I can break it down and list what is there, and on paper—put it into my various categories. For right now, I’m going to divide my stuff, into five basic imaginary piles:
2. Store offsite: data and objects to protect: at friends or family attics
3. Stuff to pass on: if I’m not using it, and haven’t used it in a year, the Law of Use comes into play, and I should pass it on to someone who will
4. Stuff to leave where it is: furniture, heavy white dishes, silverware
5. Stuff to put in bins up in my little storage loft over the front door, like extra shoes and clothing that I’ll want when I return.
Bryn then brought up the idea of medical—I have been thinking about the change over, how to be ready when my insurance plans change from the regular UFT coverage, to the retiree’s coverage, which will be a bit different. But Bryn brought up the what if I need medical care while on the road—out there where no one knows me? We discussed a number of options and I added another page to my notebook of lists. Also, I need to make sure the health insurance I have is operational in all the lower 48 states.
This feels like an enormous amount of work to do, while I am working full time. When I announced my plan to retire, Margaret told me that my last year of working would be the longest year of my life. Well, it's a good thing, because I have SO much to do!