If I can’t guarantee we’ll use it, we’re not taking it.
This was the principle of my packing.
I hardly wanted to haul 86-years’ (our 5-person-combined age) worth of stuff across the country for a year.
While limiting our material possessions to 2 carloads, this airtight principle leaked a few things through. Things like a mini-blender (used zero times), a 5’x5’x5′ play tent (we live in an apartment), pumice stones (yes, plural) and a crate-full of backlogged paperwork (still to be completed).
Once we arrived on scene, a new principle was adopted: we obtain nothing.
If we’d have lived it out, we wouldn’t own such bare necessities as two 3-ft long Harry Potter costume accessory brooms (crazy cheap), giant stuffed Pikachu and Charmander (won), 15 lego sets (Christmas & birthday gifts), two boxes of books (handed down from a relocating friend) and Mickey ears (gifted to us in a variety of ways).
Obtaining nothing sure was a nice idea.
The real fun comes in a month when we have no choice but to pack it all in.
We’ve made plans to give, sell and donate what we really don’t need, what we know won’t fit. I’m optimistic we’ve lost about the same amount we’ve gained. [And a roof-top carrier in the 11th hour is always an option, right?]
This year was not about collecting. It couldn’t be. We had limited space in our apartment and would have even more limited space on our journey home. This reality kept me out of the stores. It kept me out of check-out lines. It kept me in a “use what you have” mindset. The dread of July-packing saved me a pretty penny.
The plan was to come, be, live, leave. Stuff wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t the purpose. It would ultimately get in the way.
It’s not hard to see the spiritual parallel.
Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them.
For this world as we know it will soon pass away.
1 Corinthians 7:13
Don’t store up treasures here on earth,
where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.
Store your treasures in heaven,
where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Through the #notmyhome lens I’ve been seeing my this-year life through, I get it. I could amass much more than the silly few things we’ve added. I could gather and gather. But for what? When it’s time to leave the temporary for the permanent, I cannot take it with me.
In this life on Temporary Earth, temptations abounded to make it about the stuff. Deals left and right. Needs for new stuff. Broken belongings needing replacement. Souvenirs. Friends giving stuff away. Opportunities to collect but nowhere for it to go.
I can shop at stores, dollar stores, super stores, department stores, virtual stores, bidding stores, warehouse stores. If I can think it, someone on Etsy is selling it. I buy a gadget and the next version comes out quicker than I can learn to turn the now-outdated one on. Everything with a screen can be made bigger, lighter, faster, thinner, more powerful. Gift-giving holidays have multiplied. Every “thing” has a purpose or a multipurpose and it’s a must-have. I collect, I obtain, I hoard.
When the Day comes, all that stuff won’t matter. It will represent all that has happened and it will have had a use and a time. The question will be – so, was it worth it? Did it serve a purpose that mattered?
Or did it just collect? Because when I leave #notmyhome, all it will be is a collection.
A collection without a roof-top carrier, without a shipping box and without a spot in the caravan.
Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
Part 4: Familiaring
Part 5: Identifying
[This post is #6 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 7: Simplifying
Part 8: Investing
Part 9: Sojourning
Part 10: Borrowing
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting