Show of hands – who enjoys moving house? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so.
There’s not much to enjoy about moving house. I say this as one who has moved house five times in about as many years. The process of rapidly, but securely and gently, boxing up the entire contents of a home, is not fun. It can be tedious (individually wrapping an entire table-setting), stressful (how to package up and transport grandma’s heirloom tea set?) and dangerous (even with the help of professional removalists, moving house is the perfect time to sprain an ankle/pull a neck muscle/be crushed by a kingsize latex mattress that requires three people to move it thanks to its weight and amoebic tendencies). So yeah. Not fun.
All that whinging aside, I’ve learned something very valuable in the process of all this moving. The less you have, the easier moving becomes. Less stuff = less difficult move. Less stuff = more happy!
It’s not just because more stuff means more boxes (more packing, more lifting, more unpacking). There’s also the stress of moving valuable stuff, as well as the difficulty of trying to squeeze all your existing stuff into a new, differently-shaped living space.
With each move, I’ve rid myself of more and more ‘stuff’. Yet I’m still amazed at all the possessions we’ve managed to accumulate and have to cart around with us each time we relocate. What on earth is it all for?? I’ve become relatively good at jettisoning those possessions that haven’t seen daylight since a prior house move (may I suggest that as a ‘golden rule of moving’?), and yet still I’m surrounded by boxes and boxes of ‘stuff’ that I need to find a home for. It’s a bit stifling, really, and seems ridiculous that I’m contemplating shaping how I live around the possessions I own.
It’s definitely a #firstworldproblem (in the genuine, rather than ironic, sense), but one we’re trying to chip away at as a family. We’re finding it’s helpful to borrow, rather than buy (and if we own something, then try to lend to others). Focusing on items that have multiple uses or are adaptable is also a good approach, and being really ruthless about distinguishing wants and needs (and the entire spectrum in between).
So while moving house is hardly my favourite past-time, the positive is an opportunity to de-clutter and de-stuff!
Wish me luck as I continue on that journey this week…. (see below for current state of my loungeroom….)! I’m awaiting my mother’s help tomorrow to kick the unpacking-and-organising into gear 🙂