Having a large percentage of our possessions in storage has been very conducive to reflection on “stuff”. How much stuff do we need? With our living space much reduced while we build our container home, we had to be quite strict with ourselves in what we kept out to use, and what went into storage. It has been a good life lesson on learning to do with less.
Marie Kondo might make it sound very easy. If it doesn’t spark joy, say goodbye. But it’s not always so simple. Our belongings surrounding us have a lot to do with making us feel at home, in our home. Many of our possessions are attached to us for sentimental reasons. It can be hard to remember that it’s the memories and not the item that is the important part.
Preparing to Move
Almost two years ago, just before our move to our new plot, our preparations for the move were not going quite according to plan. Does moving house ever go according to plan?
As with any house move, we reached that day when we finally ran out of time. The last few items that we hadn’t quite sorted out yet were thrown into boxes and moved to storage. This resulted in items from dinner service sets being parted from their relatives and other items finding themselves lost in the chaos. We have many boxes filled with our possessions, and we don’t know in what box to find that book that we would really like to read.
The lesson, however, is that you can live without items you never thought you could do with out. Do you need an item so desperately that it’s worth digging through several very dusty boxes to find said thing?
Yes, it annoys me greatly that my dinner service of eight-of-everything has been broken up. Seven plates and one mug are in our current cupboard and one plate and seven mugs are in a box somewhere else. When we wish to entertain, we have to somehow make do with the smaller serving dishes that we kept out, because the bigger ones we use for larger meals are in a box somewhere.
And yet, it hasn’t killed us.
As the months go on, and utensils slowly break from every day use, there’s a tough decision to make. Do you buy a new version, or wait until your boxes are out of storage? Because you know you have similar items packed away somewhere.
Taking that Lesson Into the Future
Despite the slight nuisance of not having our stuff around us, I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity. We have begun moving our possessions out of storage and are slowly moving the boxes to our new house. We can’t unpack them quite yet. However, having lived without many of our things for two years, I believe we’ll have a better idea of what is necessary to keep and what is not.
What did we really miss while it was packed away? What did we forget all about?
When everything is finally out of storage, we’ll find ourselves in the position of combining three households into one. There’ll definitely be a surplus of items that we really do not need.
We’ve designed the house so that each of us has private space. Gwen and Louis’ section (The South “Wing”), will be ready in only a few weeks. Their space consists of their private bathroom, bedroom, small lounge area and a “coffee station”. Likewise, Cindy’s space (The North “Wing”) will be similarly set up, as will the space set aside for Kevin and myself (East). Other than a few basic kitchen utensils for the “coffee stations”, all our accumulated kitchen items will go to the kitchen in the communal area of the centre courtyard. Will we really need three cake mixers? Obviously not. It’s going to be tough to decide what to keep and what to re-home.
As our boxes slowly move out of storage, I’m mentally preparing myself to remember the lessons I have learned while living on a building site. How much stuff do we need?
We can definitely live with less.