OK, so I always knew it was inevitable, it was eventually time for us to start downsizing our belongings DRASTICALLY! Since we don’t have much in the way of knick-knacks or even furniture (owing to Jez’s obsessive compulsive behaviour when it comes to clutter) I really thought this was going to be a breeze. I was adamant that I didn’t suffer with any form of attachment issues to any of the material things in my life, until I started looking through my wardrobe and my shoe collection that is…….and I realised I had 38 pairs of shoes! Now, I know this might not seem a lot to many (and a lot of my friends have far more pairs than this) but I had the ominous task of dwindling this number down to 4 or 5!! After including walking shoes, wellies, trainers and sea shoes, I then only had room for my slippers or my sparkly gold stilettos! Mmmm. I took a deep breath and was ruthless and ended up donating 32 pairs of shoes (yes, I kept both the slippers AND the stilettos!) and lots of clothing to the local charity shop and do you know it didn’t faze me one little bit. It actually felt really good. It was as though a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I was surprised. Now I was on a role.
Next stop, the girls’ wardrobes and toy cupboard. Our girls know how lucky they are when it comes to clothing, toys, books etc. and are aware that there are children in the world who are far less fortunate than themselves. They donate their toys regularly but not on the scale they were being asked to on this occasion. They have seen photographs of the caravan we will be living in and know that space will be limited and they really took downsizing all in their stride! They started to create piles of clothes, books, soft toys and games to be donated and in no time we had established which of their possessions we could realistically take with us. Obviously, their attachment issues were completely non-existent compared to mine, I was so proud! A few days on I have noticed that the girls actually play with their toys and games a lot more than before. It’s almost as if they’re no longer overwhelmed by the choices available to them and are much more focussed on what they actually want to play with or what activity they want to do. I have also recently learned that there are many more benefits to reducing the amount of toys given to your children as detailed in the great article Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids by becomingminimalist.com.
Now with 4 weeks to go until our house is officially sold, we are in the process of selling and donating our furniture. We have purchased a number of camping cupboards and wardrobes so we are starting to trial these before we actually get on the road. The same goes for our dining table and chairs (substituted by our folding camping table and camping chairs) and our living room sofa and living room chairs (substituted by the futon for our awning and camping directors chairs).
Although our possessions don’t have a “proper” place at home at the moment, our house is so much tidier now and ironically it seems a little less chaotic and peaceful.
The following extract is a theory by becomingminimalist.com:
too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values.
I have to say that I completely agree with the above theory after downsizing the Dyer household. Now it feels great to know that I really don’t have any attachments to any of the material things in my life (well, maybe just my sparkly gold stilettos) 🙂