How moving has helped me downsize (or How I have fooled myself into thinking I have less stuff)

Downsize…the definition of it means “to make smaller”.

Its a word that has snuck into my vocabulary and has wangled its way to becoming a rather dominant presence. What started as a forward plan for the future when departing Singapore in 2012, has now turned into a mantra…items that did not fit into either of the 2 x 20ft containers (!!) leaving Singapore were left behind in our effort to downsize.

One of the containers went to New Zealand in the bigger life plan. (That’s another story!)

The second went to South Africa, along with us, destined for Uganda, as part of Plan A that never eventuated. Plan B kicked into being…a storage unit in Johannesburg.

From this we “downsized” to the essentials, and what a car could carry. (Alot as it turns out.!)

Somehow it all has to fit

Living out of the car (and returning to the storage unit at times for seasonal clothing changes), became an interesting way to live. We convinced ourselves we had downsized.(yes, you can laugh)


Then we found our ideal; a cottage on a river in the bush, and half of our storage unit got swallowed in the cottage. So we downsized our storage unit. Yaaay.

We got burgled. Then we got burgled again. And by the third time, I refused to replace anything. It helped us downsize.

Earlier this year we had an abrupt change of direction and left Africa. This entailed more downsizing. Almost everything the cottage had swallowed was sold or passed onto new homes.

An empty lounge

Our downsized storage unit was only half full by the time we packed our suitcases (one each) for our new life (even further downsizing!)

One suitcase each

Each time we downsized, I felt a weight being lifted. We have now completed our 7th month of living from one suitcase of items.

In all fairness we are in a fully furnished serviced apartment, but it is smaller than the cottage we had left…so we have downsized yet again. Yet somehow, I think because the place does not have much storage space, it feels stuffed.

Stuff… one definition means “to fill tightly with something”

Of course all of this ignores that fact that we now have a storage unit in New Zealand (that possibly could even be described as stuffed!) and one in South Africa full of “stuff”.

And yes we have accumulated “stuff” here.

Does this tell us we can mange without all the stuff we have in storage? Absolutely.

Does this mean that we will get rid of EVERYTHING in storage. Absolutely not.



0 thoughts on “How moving has helped me downsize (or How I have fooled myself into thinking I have less stuff)

  1. After 35 years of keeping things stuffed in various places, now that everything is in one place I have started to dispose of stuff and use a shredder, …. there is hope…. what remains is the hard earned experience and ‘Indian pictures’

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