Living without (part 2)

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

We are on the move again! In the last 9 years we moved 5 times, two years was our personal record of staying in the same place. As the family grew and workplaces changed, moving provided the flexibility we needed. Last week we found a gorgeous apartment close to the school of my children, and we decided to move once again. The most important change compared to our present home is that we can walk to school and do not need to drive. Hooray! Walking, cycling, roller skating instead of being buckled up in our seats. We believe the quality of our life will be enhanced by this decision very much.

But the apartment is half the size of the house we are renting right now. So the next 5 weeks will be about selection and decluttering, saying no to things and accepting living without them. We need to decide what we truly need to take with us and find the place for them in our new home (part of the rest will go to the garage). Before mentally building up a huge and arduous task for myself and starting to pity poor Orsi for the much packing I need to do, I reminded myself of the minimalist blogs I have recently been reading. The concept of minimalism has appealed to me, it is time to walk the talk.

So I flipped the project around and regard it as a learning experience: what does my family truly need to maintain our lifestyle? Can we change our lifestyle and where do we tolerate change? What can we let go off? What can we substitute?

We started off by making a spreadsheet: an inventory of all the stuff we own. Right now it has 58 rows. It has three categories: take with us to the flat, donate/sell, wrap and put in the garage. And a rough timeline is also added so we spread the tasks throughout the 5 weeks. I will let you know how well we managed this project, I am quite curious whether all my clothes will fit into the smaller wardrobe.

There was a time when I was so used to moving every year and decluttering yearly that when we were staying for 2 years in a flat, I decided to play a game: what if we were to move? So I looked over all our stuff, pretending we are about to change flats, and ruthlessly threw or gave away everything we did not need at that time. You can do the same if you feel your stuff is making up too much of your life (your time especially): its maintenance, its volume, its costs. Here is your opportunity to ask some questions:

Now I go and start decluttering the bathroom. And I keep reminding myself that I spent 6 months in Liberia with 23 kilos (around 50 pounds) of stuff due to luggage limits of my flight.


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