Last of My Biography Books

I have finally finished condensing many years of scrapbooks into 4 printed books. I also did a photo of each page of each original scrapbook. The original scrapbooks are all destroyed and I’m rid of about 30 boxes. My goal of simplifying life to little or no “stuff” has mostly been reached. Of course some stuff is needed and a few things you just want. But wow! It is a great feeling to not be loaded with so much stuff collected over a lifetime and now no one has to go through it when I die. 🙂 This last book is about 2006 to 2014 when I moved to Costa Rica:

Front cover
You can thumb through book online.


My Biggest Job Nearly Finished – TO SIMPLIFY!

Because of the better sunlight, I photograph most of the album pages
outside on my terrace, one page at a time, soooo slow it seems.
So far it is 7,880 photos taking up 10 GB of space on my computer!
And it is all scrapbook pages from before my birth to 2008, soon to 2014.
It is an incredible personal and family history, but I cannot keep them all!
And 30 boxes of albums is too much for someone to deal with when I die.
I do not have children or anyone who could deal with that many books.

Here is my office/guest room today with just 5 more books to photograph.
Compare this with the photos below a few months ago.
And the new couch makes into a full-size bed for guests.
The old one below was a too-short single bed for little Ticos.
All these boxes have been emptied and contents destroyed
as have all the ones in the next photo by the door of this same room.
All of these are also gone now!
The space is free, the house open and
uncluttered! True joy in removing stuff!

The high quality binders used have been donated to schools, libraries and others. And then I have some genealogy stuff and a stamp collection to deal with and I am truly finished! And remember I got rid of a lot more stuff in Nashville including all my furniture! Plus a lot of art earlier here. I have made real progress! Anytime I want to change rent house, it will be a simple move!

I’m applying the lessons learned in many books read: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo  (I read a review copy summary), Celebrating Time Alone by Lionel Fisher, Simplify by Joshua Becker, Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster, Always We Begin Again, The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II, Living the Simple Life, by Elaine St. James, Seeking Paradise by Thomas Merton, Walden by Henry David Thoreau and in many ways the Bible. Eliminating “stuff” is so freeing! Now I’m almost ready to die, but think I have a lot of real living to do first! 🙂

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau 

Charlie Doggett
Retired in Costa Rica (My “Woods”)
Pura Vida! 

Boxes, boxes, everywhere!

Some of the book boxes in my office & the African Chest unpacked already.

I intended to move here with only what would fit in the max allowed 5 suitcases and with more preparation time I could have. But once I was on the time line to move I couldn’t get rid of everything quick enough and decided to ship about 20 boxes of scrapbooks to photograph (make digital books) and destroy hard copies here. Then there was my art collection and good number of framed and canvas photos I liked and knew I could use some of, so boxed them securely for shipping. I also had a few boxes of misc. stuff, Christmas decorations (should have given away) and some winter clothing (big mistake!).

And more on the other side of my office!

I ended up with about 50 boxes shrunk wrapped on pallets that were shipped in December, arriving in Costa Rica in shared container space on a boat by February. Because I knew I would not likely stay in the apartments, I kept my boxes in storage in Alajuela near the San Jose Airport until this week when they were delivered to my new house.

Now the lovely, uncluttered house is a mess for a long while! Though I have already unpacked 4 or 5 the first day! I have to get ruthless again to clear out this stuff, like I did with all my furniture in Nashville. I’m still getting little checks from ReMix Furniture where much of my stuff was on consignment sale there.

Once I display the artwork and photos I think fit here, I will probably give the rest away. And the Christmas decorations will go to Su Espacio Community Center for their first Christmas tree this year if I can hold the decorations until maybe November. My manger scene collection may get advertised on Craig’s List Atenas.

But the scrapbooks and genealogy books/research will be the most difficult and time-consuming to deal with. And then there’s the stamp collection I didn’t get sold before the move. Craig’s List again! I’ll be busy for awhile!

Artwork, photos and Christmas stuff in my Living/Dining Room.
Plus the wicker trunk in my bedroom.