Simplifying for the Big Move

When we started thinking through all of the details of moving overseas early this spring, there were a LOT of questions. Sell the house? Bring the KitchenAid (yes!)? Ship our things? Where do we fly from? What can we not live without? How do we take in our host culture without sacrificing peace & rest at home? When do we sell our bed?

The questions were a little overwhelming for a while, but after making lots of lists, seeking lots of wisdom and spending a lot of time on our knees, we felt a little better about tackling all of the necessary tasks to get out of the country.

Now that we’re a few days away from moving out of our house and into the home of friends our home is nearly empty and we’ve had several weeks to consider the benefits of simplification. I recently read an article about a man who went from owning (and managing) a whole lot to owning very little. And just like this man, our experience in downsizing has been really great. We’re packing all of our things into 8 checked bags and 4 carry-ons. We are storing some handmade items & non-digitized photos with family, but other than that, we’re leaving nothing behind to haul over or pitch out later.

Having less stuff has been great. Okay, so getting rid of our organizational furniture hasn’t been stellar (not having a dresser has been interesting), but having less has meant lots of good things:

  • practicing contentment with fewer forms of entertainment
  • quicker home clean-up
  • easier organization of the things we do have
  • thoughtful purchases rather than impulse buys–we’re saving money!

Having an emptier home before we left has shown us what a joy a simpler style of life can be. Yes, having one mixing bowl is a pain in the neck, organizational items will come back in our new place and having enough chairs for everyone to sit on is a plus. But having more floor space for the kids to play? We like it. Less unread books to dust? Great! Fewer dishes to put away (though I do wash them more frequently)? Excellent idea.

If you’re going to be moving soon, take the opportunity a few months in advance to clear your home of things you don’t need or love. It’s amazing how we’ve lived quite comfortably with two garage sales less stuff over the last few months. I wish I’d done this before!

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