What camping gear do you need to give away?

In our house, April means that it’s time for Spring Cleaning. I love that cathartic feeling when I scale down my “stuff” and get more organized. My husband, Alan, has been nicely asking me “Is it time to get rid of this camping gear?” for at least 10 years. Each spring I’d say, “We can’t give that away, we might need it!” 

It was a dig-my-heels-in conversation. I wasn’t willing to listen to reason (we haven’t been camping in more than 10 years). I have so many happy memories of camping that I was afraid if I gave away the gear, the memories might go along with it.

But this spring is different. I was invited to join Nextdoor, a private social community for my neighborhood and I started seeing notifications about neighbors who were giving things away. I saw how grateful and happy the recipients were to receive the free goodies. It was the old “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” cliché in action.

This got me thinking about the camping gear. Was I being selfish by hanging on to it? The answer was “yes” and in a glorious moment for Alan, I put an announcement on the site about the 2 tents, 2 Coleman stoves, cookware, sleeping bags, etc. that we had. Within 2 hours someone responded and 20 minutes later she came to pick it all up. She is the leader of a Scout troop that desperately needs camping gear. She couldn’t have been happier. Alan was thrilled!  

I was grinning from ear to ear. Our tents were going to hear the grunts and groans of adults trying to set them up again and the nighttime giggles of kids out in the woods. What had I been thinking? Why hadn’t I done this years ago?

What “Camping Gear” do you need to let go of at work? I don’t mean the clean-out-the-garage kind of gear (although a good desk cleansing can be very inspirational). I mean the territorial, old school, it’s-always-been-done-that-way kind of gear that you, like me, might be hanging on to. Here are 3 steps to make that happen.

  1. Recognize that what you’re hanging on to isn’t helpful anymore.
  2. Review the data that supposedly supports the belief or thing that you are tightly grasping.
  3. Revise your view of letting go.

It worked for me! In my case, I’m still smiling days after the exchange happened as I think about those kids and how much they will enjoy what I no longer needed.

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