Focussing the Mind

We are moving house again, yes- I know I’ve mentioned this before! I have realised how we need that goal, the deadline of moving day, that little bit of pressure in order to focus the mind and really minimise our belongings. Maybe it’s the thought of boxing up all your belongings again? Maybe it’s the thought of the cost of paying someone to move all that stuff that you don’t really need? Maybe you realise that some of this stuff really doesn’t have any value and needs to go? Maybe you realise that you’ve not used this stuff in years, or ever? Maybe it’s time to let it go to someone who will use it? Whatever the motivation, it gives that much needed impetus that gets you further towards your goal.

Once again, I was deluded and genuinely didn’t think there was anything left that could go. But I’ve found myself letting go of all sorts, here’s a short list:

  1. Computer cables
  2. Webcam
  3. Mouse
  4. Craft magazines
  5. Craft supplies
  6. Pen torch
  7. Old wifi router
  8. Wooden storage box
  9. Bookmarks
  10. Set of drawers
  11. Clothing
  12. Garden & household tools
  13. DIY equipment
  14. Computer programmes

Maybe those will give you some starting points? It still sickens me to think how much stuff we still have left and how much we were harbouring. The world would be a very different place if we hadn’t invested in all those wasted resources, in so many ways. I don’t think that we- in the developed world, ever really stop to consider just HOW MUCH we really do have. Maybe you’ll take a moment to stop and ponder this today.

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Moving again

We’re moving house again, cue lots of boxes! This is a really positive move for us in lots of ways, but as much as a year ago I said I never wanted to move again… I’m actually relishing the opportunity to pair down my belongings again. I sincerely want to reach the point of enough and no more!

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This was us before the move last time. I strongly anticipate having less boxes this time as over the last year, I have continued to purge my belongings. I can see a slow cooker in that picture which I sold. Those big flat pictures behind the table, I gave to a charity shop recently. We have gotten rid of a tonne more books.

The only slight problem I anticipate is that we moved from that property into an old family home. The unfortunate results was inheriting all kinds of junk and duplicates. I am hopeful that much of that has gone too, as we have returned items to their rightful owners, sold valuables at antiques auctions and just given shed-loads to charity.

So, with my current review- I have offered all the white goods for sale with the property (at a price). I don’t expect them to be taken, but they were all 2nd hand to us and they are such a pain to move. I know we could replace at the other end cheaply. We are selling the dining room chairs we inherited- there are 6- we never use more than 4 except on rare occasions like Christmas. As we are moving nearer family, if more chairs are required- they could easily be borrowed. We hate the way they look to, so why keep something you don’t like?! We will not have a separate dining room in our new house, it’s a lounge-diner- so space is at a premium. Therefore, we only want a max of 4 chairs and we have some that are stackable. Our current dining chairs are not stackable and they are heavy. There will be nowhere in the new house to keep them in the attic, as it’s not big enough.

We are also selling a corner dresser we inherited. It is a family heirloom and serves a purpose in our current house because we have an ugly water pipe running up the dining room wall (goodness knows why it was sited there!) But, again we both hate the sight of it- so we are selling it.

I have decided to sell my hi-fi system. I’ve been thinking about it for a good 6 months now. With the purchase of an iPod and getting married, I use it about once a month now. My husband doesn’t always share my musical taste and I find I am listening to a lot less music now I’m married. Music just isn’t a priority anymore, something changed- I’m not a teenager anymore! We both have laptops capable of playing music and we could purchase a much smaller iPod dock if we felt the need. I would rather sell it whilst it is only 5 years old and still has some value.

I have cleared out my wardrobe and put it all on eBay. I am taking whatever’s left to a car boot sale. I hope to clear the lot! It will give us some much needed wardrobe space and I just plain, don’t need all those clothes!

I’m sure there will be more. I plan to shred old documents, sell old magazines at the car boot and go through my craft drawer(s).

For his contribution, my husband is getting rid of an old games console (in addition to the one we have already sold!) He is also getting rid of an old laptop and says we can sell the laptop bag at the car boot. Although he would to profess to be a minimalist, it is catching! (In a good way).

Has anything prompted you to minimise more?

EDIT: Sept 2014- I decided not to sell the hifi for the time being because I suddenly started to use and enjoy it again. Instead, I sold my iPod after I realised that my phone had the exact same capabilities. So I am really happy to have one less device, one that multi-tasks is far more use and I got £75 for it at CEX.

The Grim Reality

OK, so 2 days ago we moved house. It is completely and utterly the most stressful thing you will ever do. And do you know why I think it is SO stressful, mostly because of how much stuff you have! You have to;

  • Box it all up
  • Wrap breakables extra carefully
  • Create and inventory of stuff
  • Arrange insurance
  • Arrange removal
  • Move it- lift it, carry it, shove it- whatever
  • Unpack it
  • Dispose of packaging
  • Find places for everything

Imagine if you didn’t have that stuff, then none of that would be necessary. It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.

So, at my last count- despite my best efforts at purging- we moved with around 75 boxes, plus all our furniture; beds, wardrobes, chairs, tables, desks, pianos and more. I could not believe after all my efforts to get rid, that we ended up with that many boxes. I dread to think how much we would have had otherwise! So, two days into our new home and it already feels too small. There’s not enough cupboard space for everything and there aren’t enough places to put things. Which is truly, utterly crazy- this is a 3-bed house after all.

So I’ve begun purging again. Admittedly some of it is furniture we’ve inherited with this house which is completely superfluous. But, this stuff has to go. I feel the weight of it heavily right now. I truly believe you’ll never experience the burden of your possessions until you box them up. You’ll understand it better if you then have to move them. But after doubting The Minimalists approach (i.e. of boxing it up) Find it here: http://www.theminimalists.com/21days/day3/ I am fully on board with that part of their approach!

To be honest, I could not have left it all boxed up, I mean we couldn’t even move around the house there were so many boxes. So, we have begun unpacking. But I have mentally noted which items are not staying in my house. I will not rest until I have minimized. I hope I don’t have to move again for quite a long time, but next time I do- it is going to be minimal moving!

OMG- How much stuff do we still have?!

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This is our stuff. It isn’t even all of it- I still haven’t finished packing. It doesn’t even include the furniture. (You can ignore the table and the piano in view, as these aren’t ours and will be staying at the property after we leave. But still OMG- 50 boxes and counting. Most of which we wouldn’t notice if we didn’t have. I just can’t believe after a couple of months of purging stuff, we still have so much. After we move, I need to be more far more ruthless about getting rid of things. Beware- it’s so deceptive, until you box it all up- you can hide stuff in cupboards and drawers. Just because we are moving, I do not intend to stop minimizing!