I have moved around a lot in the last decade or so. A lot of it was within Michigan, however in the last four years I have been to Ohio, Minnesota, Oregon and now London. Moving is not a particularly fun endeavor by any means. Its time consuming and can be a bit stressful. However, there can be a silver-lining if you approach it with the right frame of mind.
When I moved within Minnesota I had a fairly bad experience. The truck ended up costing more than I was quoted, I had to spend a night at a hotel, and the movers were over four hours late at my new place, which resulted in me unloading everything but the furniture that was too awkward to lift myself. Not very smooth at all, but the worst part was yet to come.
Once everything was in my new place I took a look at all my worldly possessions and said to myself “Wow, I just paid to move a bunch of crap.” Albeit everything was useful, but was it really worth all the trouble and money I just expended? My bed was well beyond its prime, the dresser and nightstand were Ikea specials and the desk was bought second hand from a coworker. Not to mention my desk chair had definitely seen better days. While everything had a use, none of it was irreplaceable.
Needless to say, the next time I moved (into my current place) I took a much different approach. Everything was expendable for my move to Portland. I made the decision I was only taking what could fit in my Forester. Furniture, kitchen appliances and even clothes didn’t make the cut. The clothes part was fairly easy as I was losing weight, and most were too loose. The real impact was felt about three months after I got to Portland, because that’s when I realized I did not miss any of the possessions I left behind or sold.
I’ve tried to stick to that philosophy moving forward, but due to my cheapness and continuing to lose weight (I promise I am not bragging) its been a bit difficult. New clothes that fit better are purchased, and old clothes are kept because they are still in good shape. However, I now go through my closet once every three months, and will even donate clothes that fit if I just don’t wear them much. An added benefit, which I did not consider was, while I have less possessions, they are usually of a higher quality than before.
The best bonus is my place is a lot less cluttered and I have more room for activities. Seriously though, its so nice not having a place cluttered with useless or unused possessions and clothes. Its made me realize how I can save for the things I want in life, without sacrificing the present. I am able to enjoy the outdoors, traveling and even pay off my vehicle and student loan debt quicker, without sacrificing quality of life. Whether it is on a small scale, or a complete lifestyle change, I highly recommend living a more Spartan lifestyle.