Sorting the Life Laundry

As I progressively sort through and pack up all our stuff, in preparation for “the big move” I am sometimes torn with what to throw out, what to keep, what to give to specific people, what to give to Op Shops and what we actually need (versus want) to set up our new home. One thing is for certain, in the 10+ years we have been living here we have accumulated a lot of stuff!

There is a lot of stuff that is of no use to anyone and that must be got rid of – my husband and kids never seem to throw anything out but now it has to go. There is some stuff that I know others will benefit from at their particular stage of life (that we are now finished with and only needed briefly so survived unscathed). There is some stuff I am ambivalent about and know others that will get enjoyment out of it (like my vinyl collection – my turntable died months ago anyway).

Of course, there is a lot of stuff that we don’t need. We want it but it isn’t actually necessary for our survival or even comfort. And a lot of that stuff we will keep anyway because we want it or because it is too sentimental to throw out. Do I need my CD collection which I rarely get time to listen to? No, but I still packed it. Do I need my high school music exercise books and art sketch books? No, but I still kept them. Do I really need so many clothes (this was my question after I had already culled my wardrobe by at least half!!)…..I went through a stage of compulsive op shopping a year or 2 ago and accumulated way too much)? Almost certainly, not, but having culled twice in about 6 months I don’t know what else to leave behind. I haven’t got to the kitchen yet but I am guessing I am going to be humming and harring on which crockery I really need even though some of it hasn’t been used the whole time we have been here!!

I never really thought of myself as sentimental, but there have been moments during this long and torturous process where I have had to stop and reflect on or even share a memory before I can move on. Sometimes it’s a quick giggle to myself (like when I found the missing “a” piece from my daughter’s name puzzle. I had kept the rest of the puzzle, figuring that eventually all the letters would turn up and encouragingly had progressively found the pieces with the last one turning up behind the TV cabinet when we dismantled it. Sometimes it’s exasperation like when I find the 200th little magnetic stick / ball in the 6th room of the house when I had thought there couldn’t possibly be any more left to find and I had packed most of them in one box and fewer and fewer in other random boxes. Then there are moments like this afternoon where I came across my 6 year old’s baby scrap book and the belly cast I had taken and had later decorated. .

What do we actually need?  We need clean water (don’t need to pack that – new place has taps and even a water filter). We need a roof over our heads (well the knew place certainly has a that) and a place to rest (even if it is initially a mattress on the floor!). We need food (once we get a fridge there that will be even more achievable). We need each other’s love and company (even though we frequently drive each other nuts!!); the new house will suit our family well as it has lots of together space, lots of separation space and lots of room to run around / go crazy / practice karate / fly quad-copters (choose applicable option) outside (even concurrently!!)

There is a lot of stuff on our wish list that we don’t yet have, but it can wait. I would like a new (or new to me) piano. My kids would like a trampoline. My husband would like a full size snooker table and a very big flat screen TV (yes we are the only people who still own a CRT….which we purchased second hand on Ebay for $40 about 10 years ago). We would like to put in heating but I am trying to convince my husband to see if we can see out the first winter and summer there before we decide what to put it. We would also like to make the house more eco friendly (with rainwater tanks and solar panels). There are various other bits of furniture we could do with also as it is a larger house but I am very on board with a minimalist approach after the last week or so of de-cluttering!!

My ambition is to try not to accumulate stuff in our next house. I am trying to get everyone on board with this plan. Hopefully we won’t have to move until we need to be carried out in a box (I said that about this place and was wrong), but I don’t want to be doing this or have someone else having to do it on my behalf on such a grand scale!

“How did I fit in there?” (my belly cast at 37 1/2 weeks pregnant with Jonah)……still don’t know whether to keep this or not……


3 thoughts on “Sorting the Life Laundry

  1. Pingback: It was a very good year. | A work in progress

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