Although by no means is it a done-deal, we are hopeful that we are inching closer to actually having sold our house. I’m counting on the message I got in the fortune cookie last week that I would experience “a change in my surroundings” as a good omen. So even though we have no idea was the timing on actually moving will be, it makes sense for us to familiarize ourselves with the rental options inPetaluma.

Steve and I looked at a couple of places over the weekend so we could get a sense of the amount of space we will most likely have. It’s certain that we are most likely looking at downsizing our square footage of living space by a third – or even half. That’s going to mean getting rid of a lot of stuff.

And storage space? That’s a whole other issue. In this house, we have had the luxury of a ton of extra space. It has a three-car garage that at various times has also been an art studio, photography studio, gym, work shop. And even after our son got his license and we actually parked three cars in it, there was still plenty of space for a workbench, lots of shelves, a big filing cabinet, and an eight-foot toucan kite that was an impulse purchase at Costco several springs ago.

Based on the couple of rentals that we looked at this weekend, we will be lucky in our future place if we have enough storage for an extra pack of gum.

So now, we are starting to evaluate everything in our house with an eye towards whether it’s going to make the cut for making the move with us. The two sets of couches – one in the living room and one in the family room – well, one of those can go, no problem. I always considered the living room wasted space anyway since we only used that room once a year when we opened presents on Christmas morning.

All the books…those can certainly be whittled down and given away. Old client files…shred ‘em. Girls’ bunk beds…sell ‘em. I’m looking at all our possessions through squinty eyes as if I were Clint Eastwood sizing up an outlaw. “Give me one good reason why you don’t deserve to go to Goodwill.”

That’s my fantasy but the truth is that after 17 years in this house it’s going to be tough to give away stuff with sentimental value. It is probably a good idea if I don’t watch “Toy Story 3” right now. I don’t think I could bare the thought of all those little Playmobil people that our son played with 18 years ago coming to life at night and fearing their fate. Ship them off to Sunnyside Daycare? Not so fast. I think we’ll find some way to squeeze them and the other boxes of favorite toys into our new place.