Stuff is Just Stuff

Several times throughout the year, I think about de-cluttering my house.  Sometimes I follow through and take on the job!  Garage sales, spring cleaning, making room for new toys at Christmas or birthdays can all be opportune times to clean out closets and drawers.  Sell some stuff on Craig’s list or donate to Goodwill.  Moving to a new house makes this process a necessity.

Re-locating 8000 miles from Cedar Park to Newcastle, NSW, Australia is an opportune time for me to look at every single solitary item I own with scrutinizing eyes.  We had an expert with Allied Moving Company do an inventory of our home last week in order to give us a quote on our cost for shipping our belongings overseas.  Everything we will own in Oz will travel by boat on a 20 foot crate.  After being dug through box by box by customs agents and after we pay $11,000 plus the taxes, port fees, duty (if applicable), etc., we will be able to get our stuff and move it into a house there.

This whole process takes about six weeks.  The fees are based on the weight of our belongings and we have decided whatever doesn’t fit on the 20 foot crate doesn’t come with us!  We will have an “electronics liquidation” some time soon since anything that plugs in has to stay behind.  It’s amazing what you own that uses electricity- the beloved quesadilla and popcorn makers, the blender, the iron, the electric fry pan, every lamp, TV, and more.

The question at every turn becomes, “do we bother with this old (fill in the blank) or do we just buy it when we get there?” Of course, some have sentimental value like photo albums and kid’s artwork and accomplishments.  Many items are quite a bit more expensive in Australia so we have decided the more we can ship, the better we will be on the other side.  We will need to buy cars when we get there so our black sedan and silver wagon will be for sale shortly too!

I have moved many times throughout my life.  This house is the longest place I have ever lived (6 and half years).  Moving has the benefit of forcing closets, attics, and drawers to part with their goods.  I’m looking at everything with the lens of “sell it, donate it, or bring it” and that’s a good thing.

I’m sure when it comes time to actually pack everything, I’ll be a little sad and certainly reminiscent and nostalgic about it all.  Right now, though, I’m excited.  It’s time to do a good purge of my stuff.  I think I know what is important, what’s necessary, and what really needs to come with us.  The entire process certainly puts materialism in its proper place.  Those old purses and dusty books aren’t nearly as “necessary” when you are weighing them for an expensive boat ride!

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