John Clark amid a flurry of activity here in Hartland. As many of you know, we’re in the process of selling one home and buying another. Given the market in Hartland, Beth and I figured we’d be dealing with owning two properties for a while (Nightmare version—a year or more). However, the fates seem to be smiling on us. 70 Pleasant Street was on the market for less than six hours before we had someone request a showing and they made an offer that evening. As part of the deal, I must part with my beloved zero turn mower, but I can live with the loss, especially since we’ll be less than half a mile from Home Depot in Waterville who can deliver a new one.
In the continuing process of downsizing/decluttering, I’ve realized that it’s really a sequential process. The more we look at stuff around here, the more we realize how little we’re going to need in the future. Add in my philosophy on the Zen of value (nothing has any until someone else wants it, or it has decreasing worth once you figure you’ll never use it again) and it becomes increasingly easier to part with ‘stuff.’ There’s another level beyond that, I’ve discovered. In the process of evaluating what’s still desirable, I’ve started to realize that in the future, my wants are also going to decrease. I’m still a hopeless book buying addict and fancy brewed coffee still rules my waking hours, but not much else raises interest these days (well really good cheese and Bolthouse Farms carrot and mango juices DO come to mind).
There’s also the freeing aspect of making a physical location change. When you move, you don’t need to bring location-related responsibilities with you. I’m tiring more easily, my knee is perpetually cranky and the thought of sitting in a comfy chair, outside when warm, inside when cold, with a new book in hand, strikes me as nirvana for my age and mindset.
Now, as to my reinterpretation of Swift’s modest proposal, ponder the following. Most of us have a hell of a hard time letting go of stuff. We can reach the verbal stage of insight when the topic arises quite easily, but pulling the trigger on a house full of possessions, that’s scary. I have a win-win proposal. We have a lot of incarcerated felons, many with burglary skills. Why not select the most promising ones, give them some customer relations training, have them agree to weekly random drug testing and then market them as professional declutterers.
Prospective clients would be allowed to take up to 10% of their household goods as off-limits. Then they go on a weekend getaway. The professional declutterer, goes through their home and snags stuff. What they grab goes into a possession escrow and the clients have a week to remember what’s missing and decide if they really want or need any of the stuff back. Whatever isn’t reclaimed (and there will be limits on the gimme-back option), is kept by the declutterer to use or sell. They will be obligated to contribute 25% of the gross sales to a combination further rehabilitation and victims’ compensation fund.
I figure more wealthy areas in southern Maine can handle at least one of these folks per town, with Portland, Biddeford, etc. using a larger number. Up here in the other Maine, we’ll have to start small and see how it goes. So, good crime blog readers, what do you think? And now back to staring at the ‘we ain’t certain yet’ pile.