How do you reduce 37 years of collecting, acquiring, gift receiving down to two airline-sized suitcases, a carry-on bag and a purse?
It is a very good question and one I was overwhelmed to begin. However, once I made the first move it seemed easy from there. At first, I went through my clothes and emailed my favourite girlfriends to come over and rummage through a giant pile of clothes, shoes, purses and accessories. It took four girls about 15-minutes and five lattes later to sort who got what. In addition, I love seeing my friends looking great in my hardly worn clothes.
Simplifying this part of my life was surprisingly easier than imagined. It was even freeing. I got rid of all my skinny clothes that I had hung on to since before kids. I mean who really wants to be a hungry size two. Then, I got rid of the bigger clothes items I thought might fit again. Only the current items I love, made it to the second round. It quickly gave me a reason to buy a few extra things for my suitcase to look a little more, well, ‘French’.
When we moved over to the furnished rental home, we had a 2-week overlap. This was the best idea we came up with. Although we had no idea how smart we were at the time. We sold off all our furniture, trampoline, infrared sauna, all the items that obviously did not fit on the plane to my brother and mother in 100 Mile House where they live. It is small town in the interior of British Columbia.
Gave away my good pots and pans, and only took over a few things I could not get along without during our four month stay in the townhouse. I kept my Wusthof knives, a good Rachel Ray stew/fry pan with lid, a Dutch oven, my red kettle, my Starbucks espresso/coffee machine and two Starbucks mugs.
I used the same equation with the kid’s clothes to down size their closets. Same moms came by and we sorted through. We had piles of toys, books and sporting goods that went faster than my clothes did. Thank God for families in my life with the same age kids.
Like vultures swooping in…just kidding. It was a blessing. The kids get to keep one suitcase for books, toys and games, and another for clothes. The books that did not make it to the second round we donated to Sunnyside Elementary School where the children attended.
Alfonz and I each get one tote for computers and phones, important photos and that sort of thing and another for clothes and shoes. It was enough, were our thoughts.
Alfonz narrowed down his shoe collection and got rid of all his large-sized clothes from my pregnancy. Since hitting the gym, I cannot see him ever getting that big again.
Once the things were gone, we really got used to the idea of freeing ourselves from under all our things. Instead of shipping them, even the Denby dishware and knives I love were eventually sold or given away.
Alfonz's had special tools and a garage full of everything a man could desire, but no point in shipping items and spending the money when we can always buy them again in Europe.
Shipping is expensive too, $5000 for a container, but $5000 can buy a lot of stuff in a new home especially when Bed and Breakfast’s usually come to the new owners furnished. My out-of-place West Coast style is replaceable with cool sleek furnishings suited for our new European lifestyle.