I’ve made the decision. Soon enough, I’ll be leaving on that jet plane!
Time to get organised
Packing to go away for a few months takes some strategy. What to let go of, what to store, what to take? I grew up constantly on the move, a was a fully-fledged, expert packer before I could legally drink alcohol. My family moved suburb, city, state and country every nine months since the day I was born. I learned not to keep useless stuff, how to pack cartons and deal with burly removalists.
I am somewhat of a minimalist…and proud of it! Indeed, today, I was ruminating about how often removalists would encounter a client who actually had no junk drawer! Even so, I know that I will want to pare down my possessions even more. Keep only the most treasured items in my quest for simplicity. Speaking to a girlfriend recently, I described her gift to me (of a stunning framed picture) as one of the few things I would grab if the building was on fire. I imagine living in a home where everything I lived with were only the things that I most loved. That’s my style. The capsule lifestyle = the minimalist pack.
In reality, I started preparing for this months ago. When my relationship ended for certain. When letting go of things equalled letting go of him. Everything I handled in those slow-motion moments was evaluated. Did I really want this (item) anymore? Did it work with my taste, my decor, my life? Did I really, truly love it? Why give house-space, never mind cardboard box-space, and paid storage space, to something I don’t absolutely love?
5 weeks to go
I made the decision that every day before I leave the house I will spend time getting rid of more ‘stuff’ in my life. Narrow down my possessions even more. Throw down the gauntlet. Just how good at this can I get? I love a challenge to create more space and simplicity in my life.
Let’s start at the very beginning
Grab the must-haves:
- Every storage box I can lay my hands on (shoebox, basket, plastic container, cardboard box).
- Bubble wrap, newspaper, drop sheets – to wrap those beloved, grab-in-a-fire valuables.
- Labels, black texta and packaging tape…to label all those boxes! Top and sides.
- Plastic bags or bins for sorting items.
- My beloved best friends…Ziplock bags – in every size. Love them!
- My iPhone…to take photos of anything I need to remember – what’s gone where?
- Fire up a Word doc to record what goes into each box, numbered and backed up.
Think about this logically. Break it down into the different stages of organisation. First, get rid of the stuff you don’t love. I’ve worked as a Professional Organiser…I’ve seen householders pay removalists to pack, store and ship empty technology product boxes, broken and outdated items, and absolute junk, simply because they haven’t managed to cull their stuff before the movers come in.
Have five bins or bags ready in a spot in the house (out of the way) so that you can file items as you find them, instead of having to think about it later. Do it in the moment, as you touch anything. Decide which box each item belongs to, as you handle it, on a day-to-day basis:
- Garbage bin
- Recycling bin, please.
- Charity shop/donation. But, don’t use op-shops as garbage dumps…spare a thought for those lovely ladies sorting through your stuff. Make it easy for them.
- One bag for ‘stuff-to-go’ – to friends, family, and ‘other’ destinations (libraries, repair shops, cleaners etc.).
- Got anything valuable you want to sell? Fashion recycling, garage sales, vintage retailers. Fodder for Box 5.
So now, you have the best of the rest. This is where the strategy comes in. See my next post on ‘The Strategy of Organised Storage’.