Extreme downsizing!

OMG, what a lot of ‘stuff’ we have accumulated over the years. Ten car loads have already left for charity and recycling and we are still surrounded by things! Our challenge is to fit a three bedroom house into a crate the size of a garden shed! Anyone know how to minaturise your belongings, or own a tardis?

We have decided to put some of our most treasured possessions into storage. Books, outdoor kit, pictures and paintings, kitchen items, tools and furniture. Last week we had Matt, the man from J & J Howe storage out to visit and he confirmed that to put all we wanted into storage would take two crates. Each crate, measuring 8 x 7 x 5ft approx, costs £500 a year to store. Most of our furniture is secondhand, acquired over the years from friends decluttering or replacing, and from charity shops. Jerry, our mathematician, calculated that we could replace all our furniture for the price of having it in storage for a couple of years. Without the furniture, we WILL fit everything we are keeping into one crate. If it doesn’t fit we are not keeping it!

Outdoor kit heading for storage

Outdoor kit heading for storage

We did toy with the idea of getting rid of everything and not having any storage costs but this was a step too far for both of us. For me, Johanna, having some stuff in storage provides an anchor, somewhere I am still attached to. For Jerry, its more something to do with providing a sense of an intended return and continuity.

So we are currently engaged in a mammoth sort out. We are reminded of clearing out parents’ houses when they moved into care homes. Lots of letting go,  grieving, and reliving fond memories of times past. A tiring and emotional experience.  My little North Face Tadpole tent (the one in the photo at the top of the page) was particularly distressing to part with as it has been my home for many months backpacking, sea kayaking, cycle touring, and Outward Bound sailing expeditions. Wherever I pitched my tent, that was my home. It even came to the Himalayas with me. Sadly, it had come to the end of its life and needed to go to the great tent heaven in the recycling centre. Much hugging and tears.

We have been dividing everything into four piles:

  • to take with us (v. small pile)
  • to store (slightly bigger pile)
  • to charity/sale (biggest pile)
  • to recycling/landfill
PYO stuff

Two of the many boxes heading for the Perth Youth Orchestra car boot sale (the cheque book was not included!)

Fortunately for us, Perth Youth Orchestra is having a fundraising car boot sale stall on Sunday 31st May at Errol and the Honorary President, Rachel is a friend of ours. All our suitable items are now cluttering up one of their bedrooms rather than our house. Good Luck with the sale, hope PYO gets lots of funds for their 2016 european tour.

Deadline day for sorting items for storage is this Friday when the  lorry arrives to take them to their new temporary home. Pressure’s on!


One response to “Extreme downsizing!

  1. good luck – sounds like a big job!


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