A self-confessed ex-hoarding nomadic minimalist. Newly returned to Melbourne and forced to decide what a settled life looks like.
I am Australian, just dipping my toe into my fantastic forties, single and childless. I have lived a wonderful life achieving everything I ever set out to do, from living and working in countries on five continents to returning to university and graduating with a degree in my thirties. I am proud of everything I’ve done, for the hard work and sacrifices have been just as important to who I am now as the successes.
Growing up I loved to hold on to precious things. Favourite books. Toys and games. Stories I wrote. I have no idea why. Maybe as a child in a large family, I kept them because they were mine, and most other things were shared. In my early working life, I started travelling and setting my sights on moving abroad. But I also wanted to move out of home beforehand. So the collection of ‘stuff’ began to grow, furniture for my place, keepsakes from travelling I’d already done. I never got that place of my own. At 23 I moved overseas and began my international nanny career, moving every couple of years to a new family in a new country. Back home I had too much for my parents to store, as my siblings grew older and took up their own amounts of space, so my things moved into a storage unit. Largely unsorted, just kept for later. Each return home I would treat my unit like a trip to the shopping mall – swapping clothes or other bits and pieces I decided I needed for travel and dumping more accumulated stuff in. My unit was about 3x2x2m in dimension, and it was always quite full. With me travelling was even more stuff – as noted in one of my early posts. By 2007 I had 500kg of stuff I was carting with me around the world, most often as excess checked baggage. Very expensive. Unlike expats who work for large companies, costs were all on me.
When I had to move stuff home to Australia in 2007, that’s when my decluttering journey began. I tried to shed what I could, offloading to my co-workers in need and friends for lack of any second hand store or charity bin. Efforts continued on my subsequent holiday in Australia and never stopped.
In 2012 I think, I joined a Facebook group called Tiny Houses Australia. Here I joined like-minded others who were interested in downsizing and living small, in a Tiny House or otherwise. Through them I discovered the Minimalists and Joshua Becker, and from there I searched out Australian women I could better relate to, and that led me to Brooke McAlary of Slow Your Home, and the Art of Decluttering ladies Amy and Kirsty (see Recommendations for further details). Combined, these people have played an instrumental role in my decluttering and search for a better life, free of attachments to things. To a simpler life.
So now here’s my blog. Referring to different parts of my journey, this blog is aimed partly to be cathartic for me and partly be relatable for you, the reader. This blog acknowledges that it is not an easy journey, and there are many facets to it – particularly for hoarders like myself – from facing sentimentality to the time to deal with it and deciding what to do with it. The journey of downsizing is hard for me, as a person with a hoarding nature and as an environmentalist, because I don’t throw things out easily and when I do decide I don’t just throw things in the garbage.
I and probably you have a mission or interest to have a simpler life with fewer things and everything that goes with it. The fewer things, the smaller impact on our damaged world, the less maintenance and care for said things, the less time in cleaning, the smaller expense, the ease for moving, the fewer hours worked to pay for things, the more time for friends, family and leisure. The more time for the good life.
Welcome to my blog.