I recently did this whole thing.
Packed up all of my and my partners belongings in boxes and carried them out to the car only to pick them up again and carry them into our new place. We did the same thing with our furniture, plants, cats- everything we own.
Moving, such a great time to think about what you are going to pack carefully, or not so carefully, into the boxes and what you are going to put in the give away pile or set aside for a good ole fashioned yard sale.
If you take time to do this, really take stock of the items that you own and evaluate the purpose of it, weigh its sentimental value, you will go a long way towards lightening your load.
This reminds me of the Erykah Badu song “Bag Lady.” And it makes me laugh because I used to think it said black light, like that makes sense. What is interesting is that we place such value on stuff, junk really, and wrap it in paper only to take it out again and let it collect dust on a shelf or put in in a drawer never to see the light of day till the next time we move. When you move you truly realize how many bags you have and you can start to see or feel the physical and emotional tole they put on you. At first you might find it hard to let go of some things, but it can be quite cathartic and soulfully powerful. Whether we realize it or not our actual baggage are also spiritual burdens. There is no need to hurt your back or miss out on something new.
Why are we so connected to our stuff? Why do we feel the need to always buy things for people, and heaven forbid if it is second hand. Get it from the store, wrap it up, attach a card, they will like it, it’s too lovely to collect cob webs. BTW if you have received anything from me in the last 5 years, mostly likely it was essential oils, I made it or I got it at the thrift store.
Where do you even begin when you start packing up your life? The things you have collected that mark periods and people in your life. The things that you hesitate to let go of yet the moments are past and the people long gone. It reminds me of a song lyric from the Format, the band Fun. before they were indeed fun, yet still fun. It goes “pictures only prove you can’t convince.” We have put such emphasis on capturing our moments that we are not truly even living our moments, only observing them from the backside of our devices. Then buying things to bring home to put on display. When all we have to do is think back and remember or spend time with our loved ones, the one true gift most of us appreciate.
Since this was our second go around in about a year and our move was only 5 miles, we were a little bit more casual about it. We scavenged some boxes from the cardboard dumpsters behind our local BevMo, which who even remembers is called Beverages and More? We used minimal newspaper I collected from the local coffee shops and some of our boxes didn’t really close all the way. Way different from our last move where our friends strategically and methodically packed all of our stuff; plants, bikes, tools and all in a U Haul.
Once we got to our new place we had boxes for days. It wasn’t till about 2 and a half weeks later that I finally opened the last box and found places to store the last of our stuff. Our place has just enough storage while still requiring us to be creative. But even when we moved all our stuff here, we still made decisions to get rid of things. It makes us laugh how we used to think we could live in an Airstream. I still think we can and one day we just might, on our way into an awesomely designed tiny house.
Living small just requires letting go of all of your furniture and maybe letting some people into your closet to shop, don’t forget to take some shoes too, check under the bed. It means being okay to live in a space that is both functional and practice and one that doesn’t put a lead weight of debt around your next for the next 30 years. Go to work, bring home a paycheck, fill up the house, get a new house, upsize. I say downsize, that is not my American Dream. Simplicity, functionality, creativity, travel- our reality.
We culled what we could and will continue to do it as we move forward in our journey of life and seeking. Realizing along that way that what really matters is not the stuff you have or the pictures you take, but the moments that you enjoy with people and the letting go so you are free of the emotional, spiritual and physical baggage to enjoy the next moment and then the next.
The same is true for our children, they do not need endless plastic or stuffed toys. At some point, you need to make room for the new stuff, for growth. Tell the grandparents, aunts, cousins that this year if they must buy presents to donate them to foster children, those really in need. Plan a fun party, turn off the commercials, tune into what is really important. Or put money away for the child when they grow up and end up back in your home.
When was the last time you took stock and cleaned out your closets, your kitchen or the garage? What did you find you were connected to?
How hard is it to let go of things? How hard is it to buy things for people who already have all they need?
My challenge, what we have recently taken to do, when you buy something, remove something already existing to make room for the new item.
P.S. Happy Birthday Ma! I got you a walk on the beach.