42 boxes

When we moved to New Zealand from Australia eight years ago, we moved 42 boxes of belongings right along with us.

We packed everything. All sorts of rubbish. So much of it arrived, and when it did, I couldn’t help wondering why I’d packed it in the first place!

    “Unless you’re in control of your stuff, your stuff will control you…”

We were typical. I didn’t think at the time that we had a lot of stuff. Yet sitting there, looking at it all, unpacking it all, finding homes for it – all of that overwhelmed me and made me stop and think.

For a while, anyway.

Then, despite my best efforts, the amount of stuff we owned grew even more.

I didn’t understand that unless you’re firm and in control of your stuff, your stuff will control you. It seemed so easy to let another item just sit and stay. It wasn’t not hurting anyone, after all.

We tell ourselves these stories all the time:

You might have owned it a long time.
Maybe someone you care about gave it to you?
You might need another pair of scissors, or a third spatula one day – who knows?
You might even read those books again that have been sitting gathering dust on the shelf for years.
Your children might want to revisit their old artwork, their old schoolwork, their old baby clothes. You never can tell…

You won’t, you really won’t.
They won’t either.

Life is too short to live in the past, surrounded by clutter and stuff we don’t need.
Life is too short to spend looking after things instead of people.

I’m selling my farm. It’ll be on the market soon. We’ve lived here seven years. The amount of clutter I’ve removed has been formidable.

When I leave, I won’t be bringing 42 boxes with me.
This time, I’d be surprised if I have five.

And you know what? There’s not a single thing I’ve passed on, thrown out, sold, given away, or otherwise gotten rid of that I miss.

Not one.

I just feel free. And its wonderful 🙂

Another lots of books to go. I won't say it's the final pile, but it's close now.

Another lots of books to go. I won’t say it’s the final pile, but it’s close now.

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