I believe one of the benefits of travelling is the realization that one can happily traverse the world with minimal stuff in tow. However, to trim down to our “travelling weight”; we need to take care of the stuff we will leave behind.
So, we are doing an inventory of all the stuff. The kitchen, the garage, the bedrooms, the hall closet, and Patrick’s closet with the flotsam and jetsam that has accumulated in that particular nook of the world. Are you feeling sorry for us yet? No? OK, fair enough, no more whining.
In a few months we will load everything into a couple PODS and store it all in a warehouse for a year. So in an effort to maintain some sort of control, I am snapping pictures of our things and loading the pictures into a home inventory software database. I hate this process. I would do almost anything rather than categorize the stuff, even blog about it. (Sorry, I slipped into whining again …). If I keep chipping away, I will have most of the stuff entered into my handy-dandy database in plenty of time. Once it is all tallied, I expect the data will confirm that we have more stuff than we realize, need, or want.
As we become more aware of the things in the house, and we realize that we must pack, store, and unpack these things (and pay for the privilege) – we are more willing to say “goodbye”, and donate or discard. There is a philosophy we can learn about simplicity in this exercise (a la Walden Pond). However, Suzanne has warned me against hypocrisy on the simplicity topic; so I’ll just leave it there.
I’ve found that there is nothing like moving to make you reconsider exactly how much stuff is necessary to living a contented life. Inventorying all my stuff? *shudder* I would rather have a root canal. (although I have to confess that I scan and electronically file all my bills and important paperwork)
Seems like a reasonable approach. For me the cost to store stuff is a step function. If I need 3 pods, then it will not cost me any more to store whatever I can stuff into the 3rd POD. My approach is an uneasy cross of the philosophy of simplicity (all your things have a maintenance cost – even if it is just to make sure it is boxed and in the garage) – and the philosophy of economy (save and reuse is more economical and better for the earth). Maybe we are over thinking this a little….
My rule of thumb will be, is it cheaper to store this item(s) for a year or cheaper to replace it? Over the course of this coming year, we are systematically going through our house and selling or donating what we don’t want or need. I don’t want to do this in the final weeks or months before we depart.