Outwardly, my storage dilemma is resolved. I now know more about sheds than I ever aspired to know and in the end, fate had its way. Would my friend, Sandi, and I rather dig a shallow shed grave and haul gravel to fill it for a shed base? Or perhaps heave 64 concrete pavers from Home Depot about, laying them upon a bed of crushed granite? Or would we simply like to buy the foundation kit for the darn thing and be done with it? (Except of course for putting said shed together) Okay then! The 8x6 almost rodent-proof acrylic shed from Costco it will be! That’s the only one that fits the available base.

Now real shedding begins. I’ve given things away, I’m leaving things behind, and I’m parceling a few things out to friends to enjoy in my absence. Still, I know in my gut that not all my “made-the-cut” stuff will fit in the space. I’m deeply aware that the issue of stuff isn’t all in my shed…it’s in my head.

I’m taking notes.

I left a huge pile of things out on the curb last week. Two days later, if my life or yours had depended on it, I wouldn’t have been able to name more than half a dozen items. Another pile has formed and every time I approach it with a new donation, I snatch something back, looking at it forlornly, wondering if I’ve misjudged its intrinsic value. Sadly, it sometimes it walks away with me.

As the weekend of truth approaches and the boxes mount, I can feel the gentle pressure to let go, pare down. I think I’m entering the true shedding zone where my projected new life isn’t populated with the remains of my old one. Is it really important that my bamboo table and etarge’ of twenty years be part of the ambiance when I set up my Sacramento yurt? Are boxes of artificial greens worth their weight in space? Am I required to keep my decorative bird cages just because I have loved them for so long?

Ah! But then there’s my single-word, cutwork metal sign--beautifully mottled with brown and cream paint. I found it over on the coast in a garden shop. I wouldn’t think of letting it go. In fact, it’s going with me to Hawaii.

“Breathe,” it says.

I just found the key. If I seriously question whether to keep something, I need to let it go. If the question doesn’t come up, it’s a keeper.

“Breathe.” It suddenly got easier.