Two months ago we had to move homes and relocate for some time due to renovations.
Setting up a new home much smaller than our original was a herculean task, nevertheless we managed it just fine. When push came to shove, we decided enough was enough because the home needed a make-over which was due ages ago. We decided to move out bag and baggage. We had no choice but to look at smaller flats for easy access and availability. My house helps and me decided to pack slowly and steadily two months before the actual move to make it easy.
Gradually and unknowingly the living room started to look like a dump yard with small and big cartons and bags and whatnots. It was only the sorting stage as yet. It would have been funny had it not looked so bad. With no previous experience of major packing I had started in a very haphazard manner and made it worse. As always, husband could not find an important document and the son wanted a particular shoe only. Nothing else matched and he could not cramp his style so we dug into a mountain of stuff to find his shoe. Likewise husband too made it a matter of life and death and had to oblige him as well. Some days were easy with systematic stuff being packed correct. Other days (most), I would go back in time when I would pack albums and photo frames. Old Memories would resurface, tears would be shed, huge laughing spells and nostalgia would set in. Which meant it would be the end of packing for the day.
Time would fly past as I clicked snaps and shared the pictures with various friends and families concerned. Childhood snaps and important occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays would refresh themselves and hours would be spent discussing and dissecting them with people involved. All of it came to an end when I got yelled at by family and friends who tried explaining to me about the right thing at the right time. Sorting out made me realise how much junk I had accumulated over the years be it books, furniture, clothes, vessels and whatnots that seemed very important once upon a time but had no relevance today and were occupying too much space physically and emotionally.
Discarding stuff was extremely difficult and slipping into nostalgia and greed to hold on was overpowering but I resisted. With every passing day, packing took shape, piles became smaller, stuff discarded/ donated (much to the delight of maids and other help).
Shifting into a smaller space brings families closer, I had read but what I experienced was that and also how easily you can step onto each other's toes and are in each other's faces. Sharing common gadgets along with eating meals together became both an irritant and a joy. Kitchen was minuscule so had packed accordingly and warned the family that quick fixes and one pot meals would take over elaborate servings, until they reminded me that they never knew what lavish meals ever were and I agreed albeit reluctantly coz cooking is an art which has never fascinated me. My excuse at simple meals because of lack of space was blown away just like that.
Once I was so fed up that I told my help that I can't stay here coz it's a pathetic way of living. She looked at me very amused and informed me that this too was a luxury according to her. She had six adults sharing 1/4th the size of my current house. I was cut down to size and very ashamed at my childish rant.
I have realised the value of living in a tight situation. We can live with so much less. It's not the end of the world if you live with 3 sets of towels instead of 5, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 cookers and 3 pairs of sandals. Everything is re-stockable and we are not living in isolation on the mountains where we don’t know when the next supply will come. In fact we can also live with 2 strips of OTC tablets (don’t need to stock 10, unless u have other devious plans).
Space makes us greedy and greed leads to buying unnecessary stuff to fill that empty space. If you ever feel complacent, over whelmed and ungrateful it's time to move into smaller space and de-clutter. Live with less and (you will feel worse..noooo it's a joke :-)) we learn to appreciate space, forge stronger bonds and learn the meaning of compromise.
Meanwhile I wonder now what am I going to do with the 80 percent of stuff which waits to be unpacked and unleashed.