Saturday, March 10, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 10 + the pros and cons of moving

I'm now into the first of many double-digit days here on Day 10 of the 30-Day Minimalism Game. And while I'm still eyeing all those hangers for future days in the challenge, coming up with ten items for today's "game day" wasn't easy.

[And, yes, I did end up purging ahead on a few days of this challenge, like today, as I knew I wasn't going to be at home and able to play the game on certain days.]

Day 10

I feel like today's game day is a total cheat. Today I got rid of nine manky, barely functional microfiber cloths. And I also am getting rid of (via giving away to a family member) a small hole punch that I bought to use for Christmas 2016 and haven't used since.

My home doesn't feel less crowded by the removal of these items - though the microfiber cloth drawer, filled only with new/barely used cloths, is much more spacious. (And I do love space.) But I do know that with each item that leaves my home, there is one less decision I will have to make come moving day next month.

The pros and cons of moving...

We move often - well, often for me anyway. And with each move I'm made aware of each and every one of my possessions, which is both a pro and a con. If we were more "normal" movers, we'd hire movers to box up our things, move them, unpack them. But in the past we've done every single move on our own. Which is incredibly fatiguing. And while for the first time ever we are going to hire moving men to move our actual large-scale furniture, I will be thoroughly cleaning and packing up all our possessions and moving each of those items once again. Which has its pros and cons - a few of which follow below...

The pros.

  • Knowing what I own and taking only those things I can't bear to part with. By handling every single item I own (and the ones my husband owns), I am able to assess its value, see whether it's worth taking with us to that next place. Not a single item is transported that hasn't been looked at, touched, cleaned, packed up, or moved without a decision made by me. So I am able to pare down the things I've accumulated since the last move and reassess those things that I have owned since then that might no longer have meaning.
  • Getting a clean slate. By moving so often I have the chance to start over with a clean slate. My new space is empty, calming, minimal. It doesn't hold the negative energies that have accumulated in the previous space. I have the opportunity to start fresh, not let the space get filled with negative energy. The possibility exists for the simplicity I desire.
The cons.

  • Knowing what I own. While this is also a pro, it's very much a con. If we were to stay in one location, and I were to find a home for the things I own, I would not have to think about them. I could use them if they were items that were meant to be used. And I could store them if they were items that were meant to be stored. I would not have to spend my current energies thinking about the weight of my keepsakes. If we didn't move I wouldn't have to find unpack them, make sure they were still preserved, re-pack them, move them, and find new homes for them. If I didn't move I might not be so concerned with these items and I could either part with them more easily or be okay with them occupying space just as they are.
  • The physical toll. No matter whether you have movers or not, unless they're of the white glove variety and do every single thing for you, there is a physical toll in getting your home dismantled and put back together somewhere else. Even if you sold everything you owned you'd have to buy new and get those things put together and set up in the new space. (Unless you were so thoroughly minimalist that you didn't opt to have a traditional setup with bed, sofa, tables, chairs, et cetera.) So there is a physical component that comes with every move, and depending upon your age and capabilities, there is a price.
  • The emotional toll. Moving is stressful. On top of the fact that moving your home is a huge change - and change can be as stressful as it is exciting - there are many other factors that cause stress - worrying about the state of your possessions while in transit, worrying about all the "to dos" that need to be handled in order to detach from one space and attach to another, worrying about all that needs to be done in advance of the move and all that needs to be done following. If you have a partner, there's also dealing with someone else under stress, which often makes things even more stressful.
In sum.

While I love changing environments, doing so at this stage in my life is starting to wear thin. I have possessions that force me to deal with them in ways I wouldn't have to if I were to stay in one place. I'm of an age where I have things and need things in order to function that aren't as conducive to moving as the things I owned when I was younger - no "fast" furniture, not as many "disposable" goods. And I've accumulated more important papers and memorabilia than I had when I was younger - rather, I am responsible for my memorabilia now that I'm older, as my parents no longer hold onto any of that stuff for me.

All of this makes me long for a more nomadic existence (not possible) where I can live with just a handful of things that fit in a travel bag. But I love my husband and my felines and I have responsibilities that just won't allow for it. So maybe it's time to think about not moving, and maybe just have a packing party to address those things I don't need in my life anymore.

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