Saying goodbye to… stuff

We move out of our apartment in two months, which means we only have two months to pack up our entire lives into suitcases! We’re luggage lovers in this household, so we actually have 9 suitcases, backpacks and duffel bags of various sizes to haul everything across the world in.

While that may sound luxurious to you, it’s actually quite the challenge when you’re a nostalgic hoarder that would severely stress Marie Kondo out. I love all of my things! They all spark so much joy when I look at them once a year!

So I’m struggling a little bit with prioritizing what comes with us and what gets tossed or left behind to rot forever in my parents’ storage unit (sorry mom).

It stresses me out that I have to make a decision for every single item in our apartment. Like, what do I do with my squirrel pelt that I got at a roadside leather shop on a trip with my dad and sisters to Idyllwild?!

What becomes of my MRE kit that I bought when I was really into watching people unbox them on YouTube 5 years ago?!

And my FURBY – do I find a loving new home for it, or hold onto it to give to my future kids who won’t understand why it was truly one of the best days in my life when I opened it for Christmas in like 1998?!

It would crush me to dispose of the stuffed corgi bouquet Bendik got me for Valentine’s Day last year!

Don’t EVEN ask me to prioritize any of our coffee mugs – they’re all my precious children and I will gladly sacrifice an entire suitcase so that I can take them all with me!!! Bendik’s dad told us that if you own more than 3 coffee mugs, then the coffee mugs own you, which is 100% true in our case! (The photo below does not do our mug collection justice – we brought an additional 10-15 with us to Norway last November, and several more are floating around the apartment. This is for you, Xuesong!)

Half of me is sad that I have to part ways with most of my beloved, extremely miscellaneous stuff. I’m very nostalgic and love having connections to the past that I can touch and feel – I might have inherited this trait from my mom, who has a giant ponytail of my hair that was cut off when I was a kid, and I think she might also have Tasia’s baby teeth, which is equal parts sweet and weird (sorry again, mom!). I just love reminiscing about happy times in my life and am a sucker for souvenirs. I wish I could have a room in my house that was just a Museum of Tabby.

But the other half of me is kind of looking forward to a true fresh start, with minimal emotional attachments to things that just clutter my life and our future home. One of Bendik’s long-standing fantasies is to have his very own room that’s just four white, bare walls and a chair in the center, free of all my messes and random tchotchkes, where he can just sit and think – luckily, he’s getting an office in the new house and can finally have his wish come true!!!

It sounds weird, but when my apartment burned down several years ago, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t that sad about losing all my stuff (minus one or two irreplaceable family heirlooms and my foreign coin collection) – it was strangely liberating to start over and decide exactly what items I wanted in my life (having to buy everything sucked, though). It’s funny how things come full-circle, actually – one of the very first things I bought after the fire was a stuffed dog pillow which brought me a lot of comfort. But now I have to decide – does it stay behind or does it come with me to my new life?

So I don’t know what my strategy will be for purging my junk. Will I regret saying goodbye to my unopened roll of One Direction duck tape that Matt gave me 5 years ago? Will I shed a single tear every time I remember putting my dirty stuffed animals from IKEA (a daddy and a baby bulldog!) in the trash? Am I okay with recycling my amazing irreplaceable vintage copies of Arizona Highways?!

This purge is a great opportunity to hit the reset button and no longer be weighed down by things I don’t actually need. The new house doesn’t have much storage, which is probably for the best, really – it’ll force us to only keep the stuff we love! Hopefully my pack rat days are over!

If you’ve ever made a big move, how did you prioritize what to keep and what to part ways with – especially for items of personal significance? Any advice you have is appreciated!!!

This is a semi-pointless and needlessly long post, but I think when I look back on it in 5 years I’ll laugh because our house will again be filled with stuff that I’ve managed to squeeze into every nook and cranny. Please give me your tips for living a clutter-free life!!!


2 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to… stuff

  1. Love your mug collection!! especially the one with your pictures on it, so cute. I’m also holding on some mugs which made more than 3 mugs per person for us, and it’s so true, the mugs own us hahahaha. ( I also tried to get rid of 2 mugs because I think it’s too many for us, but Yue just wouldn’t let me do that lol). I totally understand how difficult it is to say goodbye to so much things, but like you said, it’s like a reset button and I believe this experience will bring you a fresh start in your new home. And the stuffed corgi bouquet – WOW so sweet!!

  2. I think you should Marie Condo everything, say thanks and bye to things so they leave on a positive note, and in the future follow that rule of one in, one out :) Also need to take this advice myself.

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