My husband and I have decided after he’s fully retired in five years we plan to move from this area. Hopefully we’ll find the perfect place to live in Riding Mountain National Park. It will be great living there as there are lots of outdoor activities to do and we can finally have our own place. We want a small place and plan to be off the grid. Hopefully a minimalist lifestyle but now I’m not so sure.
This acreage we live on has belonged to my husband’s grandparents and parents. Over the years lots of “junk” has been left here. I call it junk because lots of items, are just that – junk. My husband, Dean, has told me his family would leave things in the bush around the house, “just in case they might need it someday”. My thought is, a piece of machinery from 30 years ago isn’t going to be working at its best after being out in the elements all these years. Dean has told me, with a bit of work anything can run again. Yes, I’ve seen Dean try to fix something for hours with no luck and be frustrated from the wasted hours.
On this property there is a garage, two tent garages, silo used for storing items, lawnmower shed, granary with a lean-to, two garden sheds, and Dean’s grandparent’s old house. All of these are used for the storage of junk. Well not the garden sheds, they are for my garden items and definitely not junk!
I’ve asked Dean why he needs so many storage buildings and his answer is “I can never have enough storage buildings”. The old house has lots of wood pieces and boxes of his kids, sister, niece and mom’s household items they are storing here until they have room at their own places. I’ve been here for five years and no one has taken anything out of that old house. Sure they all go through the boxes but no one actually takes anything to their place.
In the silo and granary are lots of nails, screws, old rusted farm tools and horse items like saddles and ropes. Most of this stuff was used by Dean’s grandfather and dad. Lots of these items are left where they are “in case we need them one day” Dean tells me. Oh yes, in case we need them one day. Well, one day we needed a mole trap. Dean knew his grandparents had one, somewhere in those storage buildings. Dean spent the next couple hours going from building to building looking for that mole trap. He didn’t find it.
I keep the garden sheds and tent garages organized and clean. Dean is responsible for the rest of the buildings. On occasion he’s tried to organize. I say tried because when he’s done not much looks like it’s been organized. But it’s his family stuff and I’m not going to touch it or get rid of it. He has to be ready to cut ties with these items and I can’t rush him.
Since we know we’re planning on moving in five years, Dean has started to “purge”. My understanding of purging is to get rid of things. Clearly Dean’s idea of purging is not this. I know all this stuff is his family’s belongings and he’s attached to it all but really, all those rusted screws and nails, we’re not going to use them, no one is! In the last few months Dean has brought home a theatre size popcorn maker. It doesn’t work and Dean is planning to fix it. He helped clean the storage room at the church and came home with floor mats, side tables, long wooden shelves, mini clothes closet and a pulpit. Lots of these items were given to his kids and sister but the pulpit, what are we supposed to do with a pulpit? Now it’s in the tent garage until we decide what to do with it.
Recently Dean’s daughter bought an acreage of her own. On the property was an old school bus. Dean came home and told me all about it and asked if he could buy it. Jokingly I said “sure why not”. I always say yes he can buy every outrageous thing he wants because I know he won’t buy it. As we were at his daughter’s place one afternoon, she asked what we planned to do with the bus. I replied we had no plans as it was her property. Turns out Dean did buy it. Now when he asks if he can buy something, I immediately answer NO!
We now have a big blue & yellow school bus in our yard. I asked Dean what he got it for and he replied it’s for storage. What?! How’s the purging going you might be wondering. The answer is that the purging hasn’t started yet. Dean hasn’t actually gotten rid of any items, he’s just moving them from the granary and sheds to the bus. I’m glad we have five years to get this all figured out because I think it’s going to take that long for Dean to understand the meaning of purging. Or we might not be living the minimalist lifestyle I thought we would be living.