Friday 21 September 2012

We moved in to our new apartment this past weekend.  It consisted of moving over our 6 suitcases that we've been living out of for the last 2.5 months and any other things we've acquired since moving to Norway.

Most housing rentals come furnished in Stavanger which is convenient for us as we sold all of our furniture when we left Gabon.  Our new place is basically set up so that we can unpack our suitcases and live.  I spent the weekend organizing my clothes and rearranging to kitchen cupboards to my liking - humming & hawing over which cupboard is best suited for wine glasses.

Monday morning our air shipment showed up.  As part of our relocation agreement, we get to ship our belongings to our new home and ours consisted of 1000 lbs of stuff.  I was excited to see my things again - things that would help me make this place feel like home.  I couldn't wait to get my pillows out and replace the pots & pans with my better quality set.

The 2 men arrived first thing in the morning and promptly delivered 24 large boxes into my living room.  I began opening up those boxes like it was Christmas morning - unwrapping all of my 'treasures,' tossing paper and cardboard left right and centre, reminiscing as I found gifts people had given us as we prepared to depart Gabon for good.

And then I took a break...
When I looked around, it was like a bomb had gone off.  Stacks of dishes intermingled with piles of packing paper and bubble wrap.  There was stuff everywhere and there was no where to put it.  You see, this apartment is full.  I mean, we could live here without all of these things.  Where was everything going to go?

I panicked.

I looked around our apartment, that was spotless only an hour earlier, and I panicked.  I started to look at my possessions with disgust.

Why the hell am I carting around a vacuum that doesn't work with the voltage here?

3 vacuum bags stuffed with clothes?! I've survived the last 2 months with them, do I really need them?

2 tennis rackets that we never used once in Africa - why did we decide they needed to visit yet another continent just to take up space?

I wanted to phone those 2 men to come back - I could take my pillows, pots & pans and pictures and they could take that mess right out of our apartment.

So I escaped to the terrace and told Joe that he may come home to find our belongings floating in the harbour below and his wife & an empty bottle of wine lying on the terrace floor.
Instagram: cjstjohn

Do you ever feel like your life/home has been overrun with 'things?'  Do you purge every once in awhile and if so, do you ever regret getting rid of it all?


  1. I was wondering how you lived with only six suitcases of stuff! My house is so overrun with things and we have only been living here for 9 months. I think a purge is needed. My husband is better at it than I am. I always think I will use things again.

  2. when I moved back to the States, I left 8 big boxes at Jon's parents' house and another 2 at his flat. I was supposed to bring some of that stuff back to DC with me after this most recent visit to London (I got back last night) but for the life of me couldn't remember what I had left - and then thought, "well then how much could I really need it?" constant moving really makes you examine these things!

    glad you're starting to get settled though :)

  3. Amazing the kind of perspective renting a furnished flat gives you. We could also live with two suitcases of clothes in our flat, but we've also accumulated odds and ends over the years.

    But oh, the feeling of selling all our stuff before we left Canada! Afterwards we owned next to nothing, and it felt like freedom.

  4. Yes! I got rid of so much stuff when we left Melbourne - or so I thought when I started unpacking. I could definitely stand to get rid of more.

  5. I purge every few months and donate items to Goodwill or give them away to friends. It's amazing how much stuff we accumulate. I don't regret getting rid of anything. So far it's been "out of sight, out of mind."

  6. @InspiringTravellers - Most of the things we have in our shipment was stuff we packed in Canada for Gabon and the needs in Gabon are drastically different than what we need here! We unloaded so much stuff in Gabon but we're going to have to do it again here!

    @WinterSundays- I used to be really good at cleaning out my closet and donating clothes every season and I think I should get back on that this year!

  7. With a view like that I would have grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon a long time ago. And you wouldn't be able to move me!

  8. @Megan - That is part of the problem - I never want to leave the terrace which makes it difficult to accomplish anything!

  9. moving is a serious stress-inducer. i don't want to have to think about doing it any time soon. good luck getting unpacked and settled in :]

  10. Getting rid of clutter is one of my absolute favorite things to do!! It always makes my apartment feel so much better and I find that I usually never miss it!

    Following your blog!

  11. Yes! I moved from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house two months ago and I still feel like my "things" are swallowing me alive. I'm so so bad about getting rid of things! I am, however, very good at buying more stuff.

    That view is absolutely incredible though, I say you just go with the drinking wine on the terrace idea.

  12. THINGS! I know what you mean exactly. I find myself thinking about getting a storage unit for all the extra stuff because, "I might need it someday...." But then, if it can sit in storage, I just don't. And I would enjoy things a lot more if I wasn't always feeling overcome with a bunch of it EVERYWHERE.

    So, let's not throw it in the harbor or a storage unit. Let's clear the clutter keep what we need and is important. If we need to later, we can always buy or borrow something else.

  13. When I graduated and went back to Canada for a 2 month visit during the Olympics, I had to pack up my apartment and put it into storage for when I returned. I'd shared a 2 bed place with a couple and they took their stuff but left furniture etc. I never realized how much CRAP you can accumulate. I've moved twice since then and each time I get rid of stuff but still have so much. I'm looking forward to moving to London for the year because I can purge and donate a whole slew of things. Good luck!!

  14. That view is absolutely stunning! I can only imagine the sunrise and sunsets. Kinda jealous as I look out to my view of concrete and brick....oh the joys of living in downtown Calgary.

    Good luck with all the unpacking! After moving a couple of times this year, trust me, purging is worth it :)


  15. I'm actually really good at purging after having made a number of international moves! As a rule I try to only move with 3 suitcases- the rest is unimportant (and too costly annoying to ship)! That said, most of the places I've moved into have been furnished!

  16. I am in love with your terrace, that view is amazing!

    I recently moved in with my boyfriend into his condo - we're still trying to organize and consolidate our stuff. Its crazy how much stuff we both have.

    Good luck!

  17. i feel like that so much. it's actually so ncie to have only 2 suitcases (very large and heavy, but non the less) with me of stuff. and even still i'm thinking why in the world would i bring... when i never wore it at home.

  18. Unpacking always induces that kind of panic in me. That's why I don't sleep until I finish unpacking and putting things away otherwise my sanity does not cope.

    I am constantly purging because I truly believe unnecessary things just clutter up the home and the mind. Even though we have a tonne of storage space in our new home, I'm happy to leave cupboards empty of things to remind us that we don't need to fill up our house with things we don't need!

    All the best!!!

    Ronnie xo

  19. I just stumbled upon this post and it really made me laugh. In the past year, I've moved from Korea to Amsterdam with stops in India and California. I purged at every single stop! It crazy how much i've de-cluttered. There are a few items of clothes I wish I had kept. Otherwise I don't miss anything! My boyfriend and I each moved here with 1 suitcase and 1 backpacking backpack.

    1. 1 suitcase & 1 backpack - you deserve an award!


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