After the first week in January, I started putting away the Christmas decorations. Since I was already in the storage room and moving boxes around I thought, "Why not start slowly packing now?". A few ideas came to mind of why I should start so early; 1. We knew we had to move sometime late spring/early summer so it wasn't a matter of if we were moving. 2. The weather was frigid which made our nature time outdoors shorter. 3. I wanted to implement a new moving system and this would give me time to develop it rather than rush and throw things in a box.
And so the packing began. By the first week in February I had 50 boxes.
What could be in 50 boxes?
Well, of course books hold a bulk of that number. I packed smaller Amazon boxes of books so they would be easier to carry for any small human to help unpack. In addition, we had were several kitchen items not in use, toys not being played with and extra school supplies that were packed.
By the third week in March, we still were not needing one thing from the 50 boxes. Not ONE thing! The home felt so much lighter, clean up time went faster, things were easier to find, children spent more time with one toy rather than rushing off to another item. Overall, the house seems minimal and lived in at the same time and I love it!
As those 50 boxes sit in the basement below me, I keep asking myself, "Why am I moving 50 boxes of things we don't need?". The truth is some if it we will need and will use within a year. And some of it is excess. So, we will move all packed boxes, but with the moving system we are hoping to not unpack every box unless needed.
As each box was packed, I labeled it with colored tape and a number. Each color corresponds with where it goes in the home (orange- books; purple- holiday, etc.). The number indicates which number box it is and the contents. Then, a Google Doc was created with all the contents of each box by number. My hope is that all purple boxes will be in the basement on the first day we move, the orange boxes will be in the school room, etc. and it won't be a chaotic walk around the house carrying a box and unloading items where they go. Fingers crossed.
The house we are moving into is larger, but I want to keep even less things. I have felt the lighter side of things with my 50 boxes and I want to keep the minimal lived in atmosphere. I want my children to feel space so that they may be able to run around and not have furniture and things to trip over. I want to not be overflowing with abundance just because we have more square footage to fill. I want to have my neighbors over any moment without hesitation about the inside of my home.
You too could try this same exercise.
Not moving soon? That is ok. You could try this same exercise to see what you could live without. Choose one room in your home that has stuff. Get a few boxes. Fill a box, label it and tape it. Put the box in the basement or garage or even a friends house. Leave the box for a specified time, maybe 3 months? If you didn't need anything from the box in the time frame maybe it is time to let the things go? Or maybe it is time to just take inventory of why you are keeping those items. You can create any type of "packing" experience you want. The goal of the experience is to determine why you are keeping things that are not of use of bring you happiness.
Mindful Miss Mason