The End.

It’s been a pretty big year for all of us. For me, it has encompassed a lot of transition, changes, and complete adjustment to a new plan that I’m still developing. A lot weighs on my mind, and I’m trying to figure out ways to remove some of that load in order to learn to have better balance and stronger focus on the endeavours I choose to keep.

For this reason, fresh from my big win of moving out of storage and completing the last move of my things into my home, at long last, I’ve decided to bring Life With Less to an end. I have written content for the last 8 years, over 50 posts, and it has been such an instrumental part of processing and assessing what I own, in order to learn to make decisions about parting with items. I’ve grown up, been through nearly a decade’s worth of life changes and then some, and celebrated a lot of mini wins along the way. Publicly posting has been a form of accountability. It’s also served as a memento of the journey.

I hope in a few months, once things settle more, I can write maybe two more posts that are still dancing around my head, a big one being that I’ve done it! I’ve finally gotten rid of all the stuff I don’t need, and am moving forward into the future of dealing with only daily/current clutter. Maybe that’s a pipe dream, I don’t know.

For now, I thank my subscribers for allowing me to land in your inboxes once a week for the last few years. Thanks to other readers who have read a piece of my story. I wish you all well. The blog will still remain live, for those who’d like to go back through the archives to read more of my story or to get some perspective on a given declutter topic.

I can be reached under my real name of Rebecca, at the following if you have any queries or would like to learn a little more about my travels:

Thanks again, and happy decluttering! I’m so glad to be mostly living on the flipside, in the land of intentionalism and minimalism. All the best!

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Storage

Things have evolved pretty quickly in a good way lately. Firstly, I freighted my car from Adelaide and it’s now, finally, with me once again. You have no idea how helpful this is, because I’m sporting a hip injury at the moment that flares up with too much walking. But it also means I can transport stuff to and from the storage unit up the road without lugging it by hand. Furthermore, my November lease end is rapidly encroaching and causing me worry because there is still so much uncertainty. So, despite it feeling a tad early, I approached my realtor and asked if an extension on the lease was possible, and the short answer was yes. Hooray! It feels like this month I have managed to lighten my worry load significantly just with these two details. But it got me pondering the fate of my storage unit, which I had planned to get rid of this year once and for all, forever, once I moved and no longer needed the boxes it held temporarily. Whatever to do?

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Letting Go

There’s a saying Kirsty says in the Art of Decluttering podcast, my no.1 motivator during this COVID season, and that is you have to sometimes “get your Elsa on” and let it go. It sits in my mind as I write this post, and in recent weeks as I feel intensely that my years of decluttering are coming to a close. Which is, like, something I never actually envisioned as part of the future I see in my mind. I see only what I need, I see a minimalist home, but the actual section that gets me there, of reaching the end, is just, well, blank in my mind. But here we are. I still have a few stories left to tell before we draw to a finale, don’t worry. Such as, letting things go.

I have been on a work break for a few weeks now, and seizing the opportunity to keep at my projects of going through stuff. I emptied my three school tubs. That was a catalyst, as this week I opened another two tubs and emptied them, one of which, has had childhood mementoes and stayed packed for maybe 20 years. Here’s what I noticed as I went through it. I have an awful lot of collections. Some I value, but although I know I spent money and energy collecting other items, the attachment is just gone now. Let’s take a look.

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Pandemic Productivity

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m starting to see it. That was my big breakthrough recently. I surveyed the piles of paper on the bed and they seemed small. There weren’t a lot of boxes around me anymore. Decluttering stopped seeming endless, and started to appear finite. I’m getting there at long last, and you will too. I’ve been quite busy during all these months at home. While others are relaxing with family and house mates, playing games and puzzles and lego, I’ve tried to end years of hoarding and clutter with a firm view of a different future. Here’s the gist of my progress in productivity.

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Intentionalism

Isn’t this year just flying by and going snail slow all at the same time? I can’t believe it’s August and there is still so much uncertainty. Here in Melbourne we’ve just entered a stage 4 lockdown amid COVID-19 numbers spiralling. Well, I thought I’d break from the norm and, in keeping with my silver linings optimism, focus on something a little different this month: Intentionalism. Similar to minimalism, the journey a person takes typically starts with decluttering then going into minimalism, and then reaching intentionalism. That’s how I see it anyway. And each week this month, we will delve a little bit into the benefits of a life lived intentionally. This week, we’ll look at the journey and what it all looks like, so that the next posts featuring the benefits make a little more sense. Enjoy. Continue reading

Data

I have this drawer full of electronic data. By far, almost all of it is made up of copies of copies of copies. This is the problem with data, isn’t it? You back it up here, then you back it up again there later. My drawer tells the story of 20 years of technological evolution. Much like my videos, that I kept for years because I moved overseas while they were still in circulation, and never had the time, my own place and VCR to clear them, data storage was something that just kept evolving onto new devices and I never had it all together to sort out once and for all. Bet you’re not surprised about that! So how does one try to tackle years of photos, documents, videos and other data on a multitude of storage devices? How far back are we talking? Continue reading

Videos

In recent years, my book carton full of video cassette tapes has bothered me. The thing about moving overseas in 2002 is that we were in the crux of a great technological change. I had no idea what lay ahead, how the world would evolve in my time away. Yes, compact discs were emerging but they certainly hadn’t yet dominated the market. So, when I moved, my precious video tapes got boxed up for later. Occasionally when I returned home for visits, I would think about tackling them. But I didn’t make any great strides until last year. How? Continue reading

Taking Stock

In the Middle East, life can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, you live a charmed expat life earning good money, travelling, learning about other cultures and speaking more than one language. On the other hand, you could be gone in an instant at the whim of your employer. By instant I mean – out of the country within 24 hours. I have known a few people over the years to receive such quick exits; when I left my last Middle East position I had one week’s notice, but was given no free time to pack up and had to lie about my departure time so I could get dropped at a hotel early, where I packed everything I’d stuffed into shopping bags that day into suitcases better suited for my flight home.

To this day the weight of that knowledge firmly rests in the back of my mind, although my carefully chosen employers are not that fickle and I like that most of their staff are long-term permanent residents. Still, it’s one thing knowing you arrived with a couple of suitcases, it’s another to look around your apartment at the life you have made and home you’ve built, and try to determine how much you have and what you would take with you if you ever faced the situation. Continue reading

Stuck on Movies

Like last week’s programs and newspaper pile, another inherited collecting habit from my parents, and indeed a common habit of many, is movies. I have like most people, a biggish DVD collection and, due to my move overseas when they were still in vogue, a biggish collection of video cassettes too. After going through university with other impoverished but tech-savvy, much younger students and living a year in a hostel among travelling backpackers, I also have acquired an additional 400 odd movies for my hard drive too. Combined, I have amassed a huge amount of films. Don’t even get me started on the TV show collection! Continue reading

Taking the Plunge! The Journey Surges Ahead

How much can life change in the space of a couple of weeks? A month ago I was living in the comfy confines of my parents’ home, casually contemplating life and writing out my blogs at a leisurely pace. I had not long arrived there post disastrous holiday, but with a renewed sense of what I wanted from life. Then I started getting offers for work overseas as a nanny again, and the more I got them the more I pondered life and how to move forward, and the pros and cons of life in Australia versus a nomadic life again. Lo and behold, I decided to go for it, and this time last week I left my family to return to Melbourne for what was a crazy week of farewells, organising and packing.

Having written my post about recycling and trouble getting rid of the excess in my storage unit, the timing was perfect to spend just a short week there preparing for my flight the following week.

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