Yes, It’s finally happening! This is the big week we have been working toward since January 2016 when we conceived the crazy idea of relocating. We closed on our new house yesterday, and we are one step closer to making our big move this weekend.
Yesterday I read this article in the New York Times that perfectly expressed the paradigm shift I have been implementing in my life which is one of the most awesome (and sometimes most difficult) things ever. (great read, highly recommend clicking link)
More pointedly, getting rid of “stuff”. And, better yet, preventing the necessity to get rid of it.
“You have to stop stuff from coming into the house in the first place.”
Author Carl Richards suggests setting up a “customs check point” for your house, and instituting a 7 day quarantine on large items – whether free or for purchase.
“The answer is the customs gate and the quarantine bin. Otherwise, if you’re not careful, the stuff you buy today will be the junk you throw away tomorrow.”
For the past 6 months our family has lived in a “stuff free” [and nearly empty] space due to “staging” our house for our “selling phase.” The goal is to make your place look like a Model Home – completely uncluttered, organized, clean and clear – because this is what experts have learned make a home the most desirable to a buyer. For over six months we have made our beds every day, cleared off every counter, hung up our clothes, made certain there were no dirty dishes in the sink, no dirty clothes piled in the laundry room, and run a vacuum over the carpet each night.
And guess what? It’s felt amazing.
We have learned that we don’t really need anything more than a mattress to sleep on, a few clothes to wear, some food to eat, and a few kitchen essentials. Everything else is just extra fluff & privilege. Trust me. We have an entire $100 per month storage unit stacked full with all our extra fluff & privilege that we just couldn’t bear to part with yet (or didn’t have time to sort through).
AND WE HAVEN’T MISSED IT.
Seriously. In 6 months, we’ve only visited a handful of times. Once, to find my kitchen spices, once to find a blanket, and 3 times to exchange summer clothes for fall and then winter clothes. That’s it.
Now, I’m sure there are things in there we might really want or need later. But, obviously none of them are “life sustaining” items.
So, yesterday we signed all the paperwork to buy our new house. We have to wait 24 hours for the transaction to “fund” and then we will get our house key and we will be the official owners. Then begins the process of moving our remaining stuff from the house we have lived for the past 12.5 years to a brand new, completely “empty”, fresh canvas. I made the mistake last week of rushing around buying a bunch of new stuff for the new house. I was lured in by the hypnotic force of “Black Friday Sales”. But, then I slapped myself back in time for a reality check. It dawned on me that I didn’t really need, nor really WANTED, nor could truly afford (financially or emotionally) most of it. So, I CANCELLED all of the orders. Or, at least I tried to. Don’t even get me started on how difficult it was to “un-buy” all those things!! Our Consumerism “buy-stuff” American society does not take kindly to actually “thinking about buying”! And just FYI – DO NOT- I repeat DO NOT buy anything from Overstock.com. Just trust me. Don’t do it. Hold yourself back. They were my very worst company this past week to try to “un-buy” stuff from.
If you have not seen something in person and tangibly held it and thought over it, chances are you are going to regret when it slips through “customs” into your home. Oh, and whatever you do this season, DO NOT USE PAYPAL when buying anything online – especially if you think you might possibly, at any point, change your mind [even just 10 minutes] after pushing “Buy” because your money is now going to be held hostage for at least a week before it gets back into your bank account! [AAAGGGHHH!!!]
But, I digress.
In 3 days we will be sleeping in a brand new house. We are choosing to live in that house in as EMPTY A SPACE AS POSSIBLE. Just some mattresses, some clothes, some food and some basic kitchen items. We will effectively be “breathing in the emptiness”. Enjoying the blank walls, feeling the smooth chill of the tiles and the grain of the wood on our feet. And enjoying some soft plush carpet between our toes.
We will be getting to know the personality of our brand new “naked little baby,”, before we start dressing it all up. Because, as a wise musical conductor I know often says, “putting lipstick on a baby is an unnecessary and regrettable thing.” 🙂
I discovered a few days ago our house was going to be MORE empty than I anticipated. Due to the “Black Friday” buying frenzy week, apparently all of the appliance delivery times are booked up until Dec. 20th!
So, no fridge. No washer & dryer.
But, guess what? It was OK. We thought, “hey, we have a mini-fridge from our kids college years that we could keep eggs and milk in.” The new house already comes with a microwave, oven and dishwasher. And, since we will be living across the street – literally – from my parents, they generously offered to let us borrow their washer and dryer (and if we didn’t have that luxury, I’ve heard there are these things called “laundromats”). So, yeah. We can make it all work. Meanwhile, we can take our time to embrace the empty space, and ponder all of the buying decisions clamoring in our brains – making sure each item will pass the “7 day CUSTOMS TEST”.
As it turned out, late last night we found one family owned appliance store that could rearrange their delivery schedule to bring us a refrigerator by Friday. Wonderful people! We are being so spoiled!
Meanwhile, I highly recommend embracing the mindset of “open space.” When we begin to empty our life of all the baggage that is clinging to us emotionally, physically, and financially we get to the core of who we are and it is so liberating! Happy tidying, everyone! And, please send some good vibes my way for a safe and relatively painless move! – MoSop
Until I return, Happy Season of Light!