We're in the final stage with our house. We've been through inspections and next week, we'll have some work done as agreed on with the buyer before handing it over. We will probably be in the house for the month of September due to delays in the Portland area with appraisals. The buyer has all her ducks in a row, but the last step is having an appraiser agree that the value of the house and the amount paid are in sync. As long as the work being done next week and the week after go according to plan, with no hiccups, we anticipate our close date being the last week of September, in large part delayed by the appraisal not happening until mid-Sept. 

We're grateful to be at this phase. And we're grateful that a person bought the house, who plans to live in the house--not a developer. 

Selling a house is not pleasant. Maybe less unpleasant for people who don't have to be in the house during the process. But up until the final agreement with the buyer late last week, we had to live as lightly as possible in our house. Keeping it museum-like because at any given moment some stranger might come by to inspect some aspect of it and prior to that, for the month we were on the market, we might get a 30 minute notice from a buyer's agent looking to bring a buyer by to see it. 

So it is essentially only now that we can dig in and finish up the downsizing, packing process. We've got a number of things to sell off that we used to stage the house. And, we've got the second round of going through things to give, donate and sell off. We're also energized about the trip and are jumping into planning, finally. With no certainty on a close date, though, we can't yet buy any plane tickets. 

Now we roll our sleeves up and dive in. Emptying our house item by item. We just downsized my smartphone to a simple phone that only makes calls and texts--this will be the phone we take on the trip. We're hoping to have a very small storage space. Very small. For momentos, photos, journals, inherited china and furniture, etc. I've reduced all my clothes to a small plastic box. Which will need further reduction before packing for take off. In some cases, when we give things to friends, they can't understand that we don't want it back when we return. When we return, regardless of where we end up, we will not rebuild the life we are currently downsizing. In fact, we're both deeply committed to living softly on the Earth with as little stuff as possible. The excess stuff, however sentimental or comfort promoting, actually makes us anxious. 

One of the things we loved most about or VW van was living in a super simple and organized way. Knowing where everything was, not having two of anything and not having anything unnecessary that would end up being clutter. We're hoping for that kind of simple living when we return.