Eight days ago, at mile marker 178 on southbound I55 just south of St. Louis, I had an epiphany.

“5 trunks and a tote.”

That was my epiphany.

I think I need to explain. When I moved to this apartment last summer, I transported everything except for the large pieces of furniture — bed, dining room table, etc — myself. I purchased 5 large plastic bins with locking lids from Home Depot; I packed up those 5 bins with stuff, loaded the bins in the car, unpacked them in the new place, and repeated the process again, once or a couple times a day for a week, until everything was moved and in place.

The 5 bins fit perfectly into the back of my little red Prius — 3 sat snugly across the folded-down back seat with 2 more behind them, leaving about 12″ across the back for Dazey’s water and food bowl and vintage tin I store her dog food in. My tote fit nicely on the floorboard behind the passenger seat with my purse behind the driver’s seat. The arrangement appealed to my sense of neatness and of things fitting nicely, and every time I packed my car I appreciated the orderliness of it.

Yes, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to thinks like organization.

Okay, back to the epiphany. I was singing along with KLOU (my favorite oldies radio station), and just as I was passing the Herculaneum exit, the phrase “5 trunks and a tote” popped into my head. I knew in an instant exactly what it meant, and the realization was so profound that I actually said, “Eureka!”

The idea is that before the next move, I am able to pack all of my possessions into 5 trunks (“trunks” goes better than “bins” with “and a tote”, don’t you think?) and a tote.

I knew right away I could do it, but for seven days, whenever my mind was at rest, different scenarios of how I could do it ran through my head. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s 100% feasible.

Because I’ve decided to scrapbook digitally, once I get all of my non-digital photos and memorabilia scanned and saved to my external hard drives (the 2nd is for backup of the 1st — I’m a bit leery of losing everything), I will have on 2 very small devices what took 2-3 carloads — yes 10-15 bins of stuff. My large wicker file box would be unnecessary — all of those papers could also be stored digitally. One bin for summer clothes, two bins for winter clothes (they’re thicker & bulkier, of course), and 2 bins for a few dishes and cookware and other odds and ends.

I’ve taught study skills and goal-setting enough to know that to be a good goal, a goal must be SMART —  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely — and the goal that extends from my epiphany fits those criteria. And now, for accountability, I am going to make it Public:

By June 1, 2016, I will have pared my possessions (other than furniture) down to what will fit inside 5 trunks and a tote.

There. I’ve declared it publicly. I’m even going to share this on fb so it’s fb official!

I’ll post updates on my progress, so if you want to follow this journey with me, make sure you sign up to receive updates via email.