We Moved… Now to unpack and unburden.

We did it. It was a struggle and there were a few miscommunication errors, but we did it. We moved from one side of the city to another in an afternoon. Currently the house is filled to the 11 ft ceiling with boxes and furniture, but we’re slowly unpacking. I foresee a few weekends of refining, moving furniture around, re-moving the furniture back to its original space, and then settling, but it’s an exciting process.

Having realised how many boxes I had packed (and subsequently now had to unpack) I made the conscious decision to unburden myself of a few items. I had screenshotted the list and sent it to my housemate – someone I knew would be ruthless in holding me accountable to my decision. While some of the list was easy enough to do (like getting rid of yarn) there were items on the list that hurt to write. I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact I was not living the minimalistic life I pretended I was living. Not everything I own is useful, serves a purpose, or brings me joy. It was finally time for me to take stock of my belongings and cull.

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As mentioned in my previous post, I own a LOT of books. I also own a lot more DVDs than I thought I did, which I can thankfully sell for a few bob down at the local pawn shop. But the thing that blew my mind was how much technology I owned. It had somehow managed to moved from Adelaide to Melbourne, to three houses without me ever really taking note of how much there was. I started going through it all yesterday and ended up recycling* 5 kilos of unusable, dead, outdated tech. I even managed to give away a never-before-used mobile phone to a friend.

Clearing out that kind of clutter made me realise that, while I practice mindfulness and preach minimalism, and while I don’t think I own a lot of things, smaller things – weirdly sentimental things – fly under the radar. I ended up throwing out the laptop my dad bought me from my 18th birthday. It didn’t turn on unless the power cable was held in one awkward position and the keyboard didn’t function, so I couldn’t hit enter on any of the reboot settings. My techy friends couldn’t help either. Why did I still have it? I remember the day the laptop packed it in and died. But dad had given it to me, and I previously hadn’t been ready to let go. The time just finally felt right.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-20,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Slide screen, keypad, AND touch screen. The height of technology.

I found identical phones from 2009 and 2011, respectively. I charged them while watching Man Down (Greg Davies – my man), and was amused by the amass of texts I’d kept from people I don’t even remotely remember. The phones were wiped and recycled.  In another box I came across 2 different generation iPhones; completely dead, on-button jammed and un-usable. They got recycled. I found two small tablet/laptops that screamed bloody murder if you tried to turn them on. No boot up screen, no sign of life other than a violent high-pitched “please lord kill me” scream. Why did I still have them? I must have known they were dead the first time that happened. In the recycle box they went. Cable, after phone, after dead charging port, after laptop. In the box they went.

After two hours I had the 5 kilo box of tech to recycle, a recharged and working Fitbit, and a sense of accomplishment. I’d even managed to select 20 books I would admittedly probably never read… probably. I’d added them to the “To Donate” pile. I’d called my mum and set aside the few DVDs she wanted and put the rest in the “To Sell” pile. I was, and am, well on my way to completing my list. In some ways, I’ve surpassed my expectations for certain categories.

There are obviously things I haven’t gotten around to yet – like my grandmothers jewellery or my fathers clothes. I don’t think I will for a while, to be honest. I may deliberately make them the last boxes I open, the last bag I unpack. But I will get around to it eventually. I was able to let go of small pieces of memories over the course of the day and over the years I’ve gotten better. It’s a slow process.

I’m looking forward to downsizing more, and I’m proud of how ruthless I got during the culling. I’m intrigued to see what else I can cull and get rid of with an equal amount of ruthlessness. What have you culled out of your life recently? What have you been putting off going through? Any secret draws? a filing cabinet full of old documents? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, stay silly xx

*by recycle I mean they went to a technology recycling depot, not your every day household recycling bin. Please recycle your technology responsibly.


2 thoughts on “We Moved… Now to unpack and unburden.

  1. This kind of work is so hard, especially when you are working full time/going to school/raising kids or whatever. I have no excuse. I even have a “half drafted” blog on down-sizing because I feel like I need to make more progress first. Good for you, writing about it and sharing your list! Which reminds me of a few things I did let go of: My Dad’s clothes, but only after selecting a couple of cherished things like his military uniform and his favorite red sweater; my text books, because there’s nothing in there that’s not on the internet; my conference binders because I never had looked through them again; lots of decorator and entertaining items of my Mom’s; because I don’t throw big parties and never will; gold and silver jewelry I never wear. I made about $3500 last year through resale. I was stunned when I added it all up. What’s helped me with letting go of things has been working in a resale shop and seeing that everything has a new purpose, even if its an old comforter recycled to make insulation or rags. In following our rules for sorting donations (stains, pulls, pilling, missing buttons, broken zippers, out of style ALL go into recycle and NOT on the sales floor) made me question my own closet. If the resale shop won’t sell it, why is it in my closet? Wow, I got rid of half my clothes through consignment or donation. I still have my Mom and Grandmother’s jewelry though, because I sometimes wear that funky, beautiful stuff and because I can’t, just can’t get rid of it. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tracey,

      Thanks for sharing your story. It is really hard to let go of our loved ones, holding on to things that seem important or hold some semblance of memories for probably longer than is necessary or realistic.

      Holding on to a few cherished items I think can be really important. I think I may have pushed the envelope a bit further than most though – the hoop necklace I wear actually holds my fathers ashes in it. It’s one of very few items of jewellery I wear – and rarely ever take off. I think if you’re wearing your mother and grandmothers jewellery and get enjoyment out of it, it’s very much worth keeping. As I said before, because the ashes necklace is the only one I wear, I feel like maybe a photo shoot of my grandmothers jewellery would be the best way to preserve the memory but give it to someone who will get enjoyment from it and give it new life.

      That’s amazing work! Selling things off take effort and time, and sometimes I just get so over it and just donate things – lord knows how much money I’ve skipped out on for the sake of ease. Thank you so much for reading and for the encouragement. It’s always nice to be reminded we’re not alone in some of the battles we face, even if they’re battles of our own devising.

      Like

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