I tried to use our recent move as an opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff that had built up over the last six and a half years we lived in our apartment in Brooklyn. I certainly didn’t need the inflatable Homer Simpson in a Santa Claus outfit that had been living in our basement or the software installation CDs for a PC I no longer have.
A lot of stuff got thrown out, but I did make an effort to give away as much stuff as I could. I made a particular effort to give away our house plants and we ended up giving away all of them except for the enormous plam tree in our bedroom that reached all the way up to our ceiling. I got Taveuni (named after an island in Fiji* I had visited) shortly after I had moved to New York in 1999 and the plant just kept growing.
Several people took a look at Taveuni, but none of them ended up taking it. In the end, I was resigned to the fact that I’d have to throw it away. On the day of the move I was going to have the movers help me take it downstairs, but we ended up running out of time so I left Taveuni (and a couch we were also going to put on the curb) behind. I’d like to pretend that the building manager would keep it for the new tenants, but I don’t think that’s what happened.
There were some other things that I went back and forth on about keeping or not. For an example of what I got sentimental about, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of my empty bottle of potato juice that we picked up on our trip to Iceland. Other than the pictures that’s one of the only souvenirs I have from the trip, so I figure I’d keep it. It is undeniably an interesting thing (it tasted a lot like dirt, if you were curious) but is it worth shipping across country? It probably isn’t, but I’ll hold on to it until the next move at least.
* We were scheduled to go scuba diving there after spending some time on the main island as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program. I wasn’t pleased to find out right before we left to go there that the name of the island translates as ‘Shark Island’. I did end up seeing one shark while we were diving and it wasn’t the terrifying experience I had expected it to be.