You’d think as often as we have moved, now officially once a year for the last three years, I would be so pro at it that I could crack a whip and the plates and books would wrap themselves and hop into a box. You’d also think that it wouldn’t wear me out. You’d be wrong. This move, more than the last two, has really taken it out of me. We did move to a different city, not just across town, but I think it’s more than that.
I’ve been on a downsizing, minimalist kick for a few years. I’ve written about it here and mentioned it in umpteen Facebook posts, but I felt it in my bones this time. At one point just a day or two before the movers arrived to pack the U-Haul truck, I really wondered what it would be like to set everything out on the lawn and let whoever was willing to haul it off have it. The though of having to take a suitcase full of things, and nothing more, seemed like the most freeing thing in the world. I also thought of all the money, all the actual work hours, represented by everything I wrapped to move or placed in the donate box. Why had I purchased this thing I no longer needed or wanted? Why had I hauled it through how many other moves to just now discard it?
The other thing that floated through my mind was the prospect of what the next move might look like (yes, that was probably borrowing trouble). Keifel and I really want to live overseas for awhile. It’s a long term goal but I did think about what moving again would look like if our next move was to Europe. The things I would take would only be those things we could not replace once we landed: family treasures, photos, unique items we love, and some artwork (and that cats, of course). What would it feel like to sell everything? I can tell you the thought of it was completely thrilling. It isn’t a completely abstract thought for either of us. Keifel spent four years traveling and working and living out of suitcase, often buying clothes when he landed and donating them when he left for a different climate. I spent a year and change in Slovenia in college. I left with a backpack of everything I thought I would need for a year and acquired a few things there and had a few additional things shipped from home but it was just so much less stuff to clean, to keep up with, to worry about.
And now with all of this, I can’t help but wonder, how much could I get rid of now? How little could we comfortably live with?