packing boxesIf this is the first time you’ve have heard about the news I’m about to share, I apologize. I wish I could tell everyone personally instead of having them find out in such an impersonal manner. But I can’t and the deadline is coming closer. So here’s my big news:

We are moving.

We are moving about 3.5 hours away but we have family, friends, and other ties to our current area so we will be back on a pretty regular basis. We bought a farm and are doing some barn renovations down there so things have been pretty hectic lately. Lots of trips down there to arrange renos and prepare the farm for animals and much more needs to be done. So there is a lot of work to be done and I’ve been doing what I can to prepare my family.

This includes things like figuring out internet, grocery stores, mail, banking, church information, kids activitiesc and mommy groups. I’ve also been trying to visualize how we will live in the new place. The house we are going to live in down there has about 200 square feet less space than here. Not a big deal for bedrooms but the main floor of the house is something else. It’s proving to be a tough layout to work with. For example, the “coat closet” is inside the bathroom and the space for the fridge is in the laundry room. I think that we have figured out how we can make our belongings work and I know that God will provide the peace and patience we need to live in that house for the time being. Due to the down sizing, we have had to make some tough decisions. We won’t have the space or storage that we do in our current house (there are only 3 closets in the whole house) so we are getting rid of stuff.

It is amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate. I filled a garbage bag with toys to donate and I packed some of the less popular toys. The boys haven’t missed them. They are actually sitting in a clear plastic bin on a shelf in the playroom and neither boy has asked for them to play with in the whole 6 weeks they have been packed. I may have to donate them as well. I have noticed that since I packed up a good number of toys (the boys play outside most of the time anyway) that I don’t have nearly as many issues getting them to clean up. I’m not tripping on toys the way I used to either. I like that!

I have also taken this opportunity to simplify other areas of our life. I packed about half of our dinnerware. I do still have extra plastic plates/bowls for snack times but we mostly haven’t missed the extra dinnerware. I have been doing way less dishes. I have a dishwasher but I used to wash all the plastics and pots and larger items by hand because the dishwasher was always full with plates. Now I can fit nearly every dirty dish and pot into the dishwasher and just run it every other day. It takes me 20 minutes to do dishes and clean the kitchen in the morning instead of 1.5 hours. The only issue I’ve run into with this is that my husband was upset that both large coffee mugs were dirty and he didn’t want to use a medium one so he didn’t drink his coffee one day.

Things I have already packed/donated: DVDs (we watch Netflix once in a while but that’s about it), books (just kept a couple out that I will read before the move), baby gear (lent it to my sister actually), all of the kids’ clothes that they don’t currently wear  (plus most of what actually fits them too – less laundry!) and a lot of my clothes (sad yet freeing to donate all my nice business clothes I used before I became a SAHM, they can bless someone else).

Next areas to simplify/pack: towels (probably leave 1 towel per son, 1 for me, and 2 for hubby), computer gear (we have extras of nearly everything), some fabric (I have to face the fact that I won’t have time to sew it all before the move).

So preparing to move has given me a great opportunity to live with less. It has shown me that we really do have an abundance of “stuff” that we don’t really need. I’m not at the point that I could get rid of it all but I certainly am looking at things differently. I still have a bin with clothes that fit my boys because I know that they (especially my 4 year old) will wear out a couple pairs of pants before they outgrow them. I can just go to the bin to grab a “new” pair. I know that we will eventually have company over for dinner and will require those extra plates. So I’ll just go to the box to grab them. But the won’t go into my regular rotation because I don’t want to be a slave to my stuff. I don’t enjoy dishes or laundry so I’m going to keep it to a minimum.

Less stuff really does translate into more time!

Is there an area in your life and household that you can simplify? Ask yourself, do you really need that stuff or can you do with less?

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