Late last year I found out that I most likely would be forced out of the building I was leasing for my business. Not that I was being strong-armed or anything, but the rate increase combined with the required terms would have been a little bit more than I wanted to take on. I like where I was because I had a lot of space and a shop for my trailer and racecars. It worked out really well when I had a lot of employees but my staff is less than it used to be and I am the only one working from the office now. I decided that now is the perfect time to lower my overhead.
I have never been a big fan of moving. It’s a lot of work to move, especially if you’ve been there for a while. I wanted to take this opportunity to go through everything that I have accumulated over the years for different jobs and clear out some things. This meant that the job of packing up and moving would most likely be a job I will do alone. Going through everything meticulously meant revisiting a lot of memories. There were a lot of items that I purchased for specific jobs, mainly photography or video production related. I have been lucky enough to get to do a lot of fun things for work that I enjoy.
As I went through everything I decided that I needed to downsize. There’re a lot of things that I may potentially need again but without knowing that for sure, I can’t just keep things assuming that I might need them again one day. My grandfather has a large shop and saves just about everything. He’s not a hoarder or anything like that, but he does hang onto a lot of things assuming that he may need them again one day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because there have been times where I’ve gotten rid of something only to realize that I should’ve kept it. The problem with hanging on to everything is that you end up spending more money to store it than you would to just buy it again later on when you again have a need for it. This move is forcing me to make a lot of decisions on whether or not to keep things.
The sad thing about getting rid of your stuff is that you have memories attached to them. I have worked for myself since my early 20s and have accumulated a lot of things over the years for a variety of different tasks. I’m not talking about a stapler that I’m emotionally attached to, I’m talking about photography gear, computer parts, and other technology that I just generally enjoy regardless of its use in my work life.
In my mid-20s, I closed down a business that I had built for the previous five years. I was completely changing industries and almost none of what I had would be useful as I transitioned what I was doing for a living. I remember being sad at that time because I had spent a lot of time building this business only to shut it down. There were a lot of memories tied to equipment I had and even some of the leftover product I had to get rid of. I also wanted to do things better this time around, which meant getting rid of stuff I had that was not up to the level I wanted to be at myself.
When I make a decision I don’t often dwell on the past. I want to move on and focus on what’s in front of me, not what’s behind me. I also want to improve, and you can’t improve if you bring everything with you.
As I was packing up everything, I was deciding what to keep and what to sell. I found myself just wanting to get rid of some of it fast. There were some more valuable things that I listed on eBay, but the smaller things I wanted to just throw away. I just wanted to get that out of my mind so I can move forward. Even as I write this I have three large boxes of stuff and some furniture that I need to get rid of. I don’t even like the idea of having to deal with it. I am mostly moved into my new office location and everything I plan to get rid of is sitting in a corner at the old office waiting for me to do something with it.
About five years ago I had decided to open a co-working space. I had the business completely set up and ready to open, but I decided not to go through with it. I had all of this furniture just sitting there. I knew that I could list all of this brand-new furniture on craigslist and sell it off piece by piece, but the idea of having to deal with that required more mental energy than I wanted to give it. So I donated all of it to a new startup church.
As I’ve grown further into my adult years I have become more aware of the way I deal with things. I also recognize that I need to optimize my time and spending it dwelling on the past, or dealing with the things of the past, often cause me more stress than just letting it all go. Now obviously this is not a healthy thing to practice in all facets of life, but when it comes time to move on, I have no problem doing so.
I guess the reason that I’m writing this is just to publicly declare that I get sad and emotional about things sometimes that may or may not make sense to others. Early on in this move, I wanted to put a sign on the front door that says “Free” like my Business was some old couch I was trying to giveaway on the side of the road. Sometimes it’s just easier to start fresh then it is to move everything. I always want to improve, so maybe that has something to do with it, or maybe not. My new office is a lot smaller than the office before, but it’s going to add to my bottom line, which is having more freedom. Lower overhead means less worry about ongoing monthly costs. My new office is even closer to home and today, I longboarded home for lunch.
I’m looking forward to the next chapter at my new location. I still have a lot of work to do to be setup here, but I enjoy that part.
How do you feel about moving? Do you pack up every last little item you own, or get rid of a lot and start new? Let me know in the comments below.