With only two weeks left before we leave, it feels like all we are doing is getting rid of things. When we made the decision to move to Australia, we knew it would be difficult to say goodbye to our friends and family. What we didn’t really think about was all the physical things we’d also have to say goodbye to. We have cleared our house of almost every non-essential or non-sentimental item. Two weeks ago we had a garage sale and cleared out mounds of stuff. After the first couple of hours we started giving stuff away and posted signs on the street saying “free stuff”. By the end of the day almost everything was gone. What was left fit entirely in the trunk of my Prius for one trip to the Goodwill drop off.
The same day as our garage sale Matt sold his truck. We barely batted an eye watching our old books, clothes, dishes, and other random stuff getting carted off from the garage sale, but both Matt and I were a little teary watching his truck pull away. We’ve had it for 12 years – almost our entire relationship – and have so many memories associated with it. We drove it across the country twice to Miami, and have done countless camping trips and beach days in our trusty “Taco”. I think the fact that is a unique fire engine red Toyota Tacoma that would be very hard to replace made it even more difficult. It’s just become less practical the past couple of years though. I don’t enjoy squeezing Theo into the back jump seats since it only has two doors, so Matt commutes 30 minutes in it every day while I drive our Prius only a mile down the road to my work. So, rather than store it for the next 2+ years and let it depreciate further, we decided to do the responsible thing and let it go.
This past weekend we said goodbye to yet another vehicle – our RV, Sunny – a 1986 Toyota Sunrader. We didn’t really have to say goodbye as this car just went out on loan to our friends up in Oregon who have a lot of space to store it and plan to make some good use of it the next few years. We’re hoping to see it be well loved and enjoyed. We made a little trip out of the transfer and drove Sunny up to San Fransisco (stopping for a night in Camarillo to visit my grandma) and our friends flew down from Oregon. We all hung out in Alameda (SF) for the weekend with some other close friends and then they drove Sunny back to Oregon and we flew home. We had fun getting to spend a couple last nights in Sunny and Theo finally slept well on a vacation (he napped every day and slept through the night every night, which was the first time ever on a vacation). We also got to meet our friends not-so-new baby and spend quality time with everyone before leaving.
So now we are a one-car family and are getting a little taste of what it will be like in Sydney since we plan to only have one car there too. Luckily, my commute to work is very short (1 mile as I mentioned above), so I’ve been biking up until I got a flat tire yesterday. Nonetheless, we’re still having to do quite a bit of shuffling and extra planning around when we run errands and who gets to use the car when.
Our focus now is on clearing out the big stuff. We’re posted shelves, tables, couches, chests, desks, and more on craigslist and buy/sell/trade groups of Facebook (which I’ve never used until now but are amazing!). It is great making $20 here and $50 there since every penny will count when we have to furnish an entirely blank canvas when we get to Sydney, but it sure is a lot of work coordinating with so many individuals to come check out and pick up so many items.
Letting go of our “stuff” has been an interesting experience. We have moved so many times since leaving home for college that up until 3.5 years ago when we moved into our current apartment almost everything we owned could fit into our two cars. However, when we moved into our current apartment, we finally felt settled and started accumulating things. When we typically would have tossed something out or given it away, we’ve now held on to things with the mentality that it could be useful one day and we have a garage – so why not. Our entire relationship we’ve strived for minimalism and have repeated the following mantra to each other:
“the things you own end up owning you”
We’ve strayed from this practice recently, but this opportunity is providing us with a great reason to return to what we believe in. And so, one by one, we remove the clutter from our home and fit only what we really need or care about into our suitcases and boxes for storage. As difficult as it has be letting go of our things, it has also been incredibly refreshing.