bankers boxes

If everything I own is going to fit into 2 suitcases, that means I’m going to have to give away a lot of my stuff… a lot!

It’s been an interesting process to inventory everything I own, stick it in banker’s boxes, and decide what is absolutely essential to keep.

The first thing I realized was that my 2 suitcases have to hold more than just my clothes. There’s also office supplies, and toiletries, and technology. It took about a week, but I finally pared down my non-clothing items to the very minimum of what I need to keep, and it all fit into just 4 small shoeboxes. I put the shoeboxes into a suitcase. Nope! It took up too much space. It was then that I discovered that even my “minimum” could be pared back. Now I’m down to two shoeboxes. Much better. But the more interesting challenge was yet to come.

Deciding what clothing to keep has been an even more interesting challenge. I need clothes for warm climates (easy because they’re small) and cold climates (not so easy, because they’re big and bulky), but the really tricky question relates to those clothes that “legitimize” me.

See, way back when I was in high school, I had no idea that clothing affected people’s judgment, so I just wore whatever I liked. It was my sister, Karen, who helped me understand that some people consider what you say and do through the filter of what you wear. She taught me about the kind of “costumes” I needed to wear for certain people of influence to take me seriously.

Since learning that lesson, I’ve prided myself on having the “right clothes” to wear when the situation called for them. Well, it turns out this kind of clothing takes up a lot of space in the suitcase. What’s more, it wrinkles easily, which undermines its capacity to “legitimize,” which necessitates also having an iron. All that fuss isn’t going to work in my 2-suitcase life.

The solution? Wears the clothes that fit in my new-chosen life, which also happen to be clothes that I’m most comfortable in, far more than those fussy suits, ties, slacks and dress shirts. Hey, if Steve Jobs got away with wearing black turtlenecks and jeans every day…

It’s interesting that the circumstances of my new life put me in the position of only owning the clothes that I would most want to wear, if it didn’t matter what people thought.

Enough about clothes. Let’s talk about purpose and about you. I’m a big fan of purpose. I like for things to be useful. That’s where you come into the picture. If you can use any of the stuff that I’m giving away, I’d love for it to serve a purpose in your life. It makes it easier to let go of things that are meaningful to me, if I know that they’re going to become useful in the lives of others.

Here’s how this works for you:

  1. Check out the Jeff’s Giveaway spreadsheet here: https://goo.gl/WLvmAZ
  2. If you see things you could use, enter your name beside those things.
  3. I’ll make arrangements to get the stuff to you.

Simple as that!

You have until May 21, 2017 to submit your requests for any of the stuff I’m giving away. After that, everything unclaimed goes to a great New York City organization called Housing Works.

Contact me if you’d like to be notified when I put more stuff up on the list.

Ain’t it cool how committing to a big life choice can cause you to make smaller and equally important life choices along the way?