We’ve just moved house after nine years in our last place and I didn’t realise how emotional it would be. Apart from the house I grew up in, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere and it was really home. So many memories (good and bad) are wrapped up in that flat… it’s where my aunt called to say that my dad had had a stroke, It’s the last place my sister and her family stayed before they moved to Canada, it’s where my husband proposed (in the kitchen) and we got married whilst living there. I was prepared for the stress of moving (sort of!) but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional side of it.
There was something else I wasn’t prepared for and that’s the realisation of just how much stuff we had that we didn’t need. We hired a company that did both the packing and the moving and whilst I had gotten rid of a fair amount before the move, it wasn’t until I had to start unpacking all the boxes that I realised just how much we had. When you’ve lived somewhere for a long time, it’s easy to keep finding space for new purchases but the minute you move you realise that you don’t want to have to find nooks and crannies to store stuff. Our new kitchen has a lot less storage than our old one and it was when I was trying to find space for 21 mugs that I realised how silly having 21 mugs was when I’m the only one who has a cup of coffee in the morning.
Now I know Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, and her ‘spark joy’ method is all the rage at the moment, however I’ve not read it but I think I totally get the concept of it. I had this sudden epiphany that I had collected over the years so much stuff that I just didn’t need and that didn’t actually bring me joy. I now have eleven (yes, eleven) boxes packed full of crockery, CDs, decorative furnishings, books, clothes (some I’m ashamed to say still had the price tag on) and shoes that are very kindly being collected by the British Heart Foundation.
And I feel very light. Seriously. I feel like I’ve finally learnt to stop spending money on ‘things’ but rather spend my money on experiences and making memories. Or maybe I’ll just start saving! Either way, I’m looking forward to not having so much clutter in my life. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy – I have a serious clothes addiction – but I really, really will question everything I want to buy with, “Do I really need this and will it bring me joy?”.