When moving, especially internationally, the first and most important task is to minimize the amount of possessions one has to ship.
I have tried to do this as much as possible in the last few years already, primarily by not accumulating too many new things. I am an avid reader, but have tried to get most of my material from the local library or online as e-texts or audiobooks. I have tried to “make do” and “use up” as many other things as possible, clothing for example (thank goodness I work in a very fashion unconscious profession) or household goods (how many sheets or towels do you really need? And more cookware would only lead to my doing the dishes even less frequently…;-))
So, when starting to plan my exit strategy to Japan, I thought I could move with a minimum amount of necessities, even without getting rid of too many things.
But then, of course, while you’re busy making plans, this life thing happens… Last autumn it so happened that I inherited the family home back in Austria. It is a large house with basement, attic and garage, and while my family was not prone to hoarding, the house was still full to the brim with 20+ years of accumulated clutter.
It took me many weekends and my complete Christmas vacation to deal with, well, most of it. Some things were easy: outright junk, most of the furniture, family heirlooms. The other 70 percent, however, are the difficult ones: books, kitchen ware, linens, towels, memorabilia, assorted “I don’t really want it, but I just can’t throw it away”. However, I managed to unclutter and toss and whittle those 70 percent down to 12 cubic metres.
12 cubic metres, a great part of which I still don’t need or want, but need more time to sort through and make decisions about.
12 cubic metres that have just arrived and clutter up my apartment…