What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

There was a time in my life where I wanted to clear out of these United States and head for Costa Rica. After considering that it would cost a fortune to ship everything I own to the southern hemisphere, I settled for knowing I could purchase new towels and forks when I arrived. Still, there were items I’d want to take with me. Not everything. Some. My non-negotiables.

I then asked myself, What do I want my new digs to look like? I imagined white sheers blowing gently at open windows—I’ve always loved the peacefulness of white. White-washed walls, white furniture with a shabby chic vibe, a bit of bling. I looked around at my current home and saw the beginnings of this vibe in certain rooms. I thought, This is what I’m trying to create, this is where I’m heading.

Still, there was the question of Costa Rica. Yeah *sigh* it’s not going to happen any time soon, maybe never. Maybe it’ll be a coastal village somewhere here in the U.S. In the meantime, I could move more purposefully in the direction of the vision for my home, now. I already had the “seeds” for that vision: white furniture and accessories in certain rooms, some architectural salvage, the white curtains.

If I had to high-tail it outta here, what would I take? What are my 100 non-negotiables that would feel like home, wherever I land? I created a list, and when I finished, it occurred to me that I have everything I need. My needs are few, and I am already there. Also, my home contains items that made the rooms look good, but if I ever downsize, I know what I will and won’t be taking.

This is how I came to realize the concept of what I call the ABCs of stuff. My list of non-negotiables was my A-list. The Christmas ornaments and bread machine were on my B-list. The items in the basement and the back of closets and cabinets, no longer used, my C-list.

For fun, I created a list of my 100 non-negotiables. I thought of each room and decorated them in my head with what I had, according to my vision. I mentally walked through each room and wrote down what I loved.

If you are thinking about high-tailing it outta here, or about downsizing, or even a cross-country move, I highly recommend this exercise. If nothing else, it provides clarity about your current possessions.

What are your 100 items? Here are mine, fudged a little with groupings:

  1. Coffee Maker and Favorite Coffee Mug
  2. Toothbrush and Paste
  3. Face and Body Care
  4. Hair Care
  5. Clothes
  6. Cat Gear
  7. Fluffy White Bath Towel Sets
  8. Fluffy White Bath Mat
  9. Lap Top Computer
  10. Cell Phone
  11. iPad for Books
  12. Printer
  13. Yoga Mat
  14. Journals (old and new) and Good Pens
  15. Television
  16. White Chair and Ottoman 
  17. White Love Seat
  18. White Rug
  19. Table Made of Old Corbels
  20. White and Glass Lamps
  21. Knives, Forks, Spoons
  22. Portmerion Dishes
  23. Thick Wine Glasses
  24. Thick Drinking Glasses
  25. Three Prep Knives
  26. Cutting Board
  27. Five Cooking Pans
  28. Stainless Prep Bowls
  29. Stainless Measuring Cups
  30. Stainless Measuring Spoons
  31. Spatulas and Whisk
  32. Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
  33. Mini Food Processor
  34. Wrought Iron Fruit bowl that Looks Like Twigs
  35. Toaster Oven
  36. Microwave
  37. Refrigerator
  38. Stove
  39. Trash Can
  40. Washer
  41. Dryer
  42. Bed
  43. Mattresses
  44. Pillows
  45. Down Comforter
  46. Cuddledown Sheets
  47. Bedside Table
  48. Deck Chair and Ottoman
  49. Large Wind Chimes
  50. Concrete Saint Francis and Bird Bath
  51. Bird Feeders
  52. Bose Speakers
  53. Reading Glasses
  54. Favorite Perfume
  55. Nail File and Clippers
  56. One Photo Album
  57. One Box of Recipes
  58. Old Vertical Window
  59. Old Doors as Room Divider
  60. Old White Frame
  61. White Iron Candlestick and Birds
  62. French Country Armoire
  63. French Country Dining Set
  64. Brass Corkscrew
  65. Eagle Claw Bottle Opener
  66. Leaf and Vine Pie Server
  67. Old Compass in Leather Pouch
  68. Watch and a few Pieces of Jewelry
  69. Kitchen Island
  70. Kitchen Stool
  71. Tool Box with Tools
  72. Scissors, Tape, Stapler
  73. Vacuum
  74. Broom and Dustpan
  75. Kitchen Towels
  76. Soft Blanket
  77. White Floral Arrangement
  78. Box of Christmas Ornaments and Tree
  79. Automobile
  80. The Remainder: Select Wall Art

Creating a list of non-negotiables is something you might do before we meet and discuss your plans to downsize. If you’re overwhelmed by what seems to be an overwhelming task, I know the questions to ask that will blow this whole thing open for you, freeing you to make forward movement. Call today!

You might also like: Find Hidden Savings for a Cross-Country Move

Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.

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