Saturday, July 27, 2013

Moving Overseas - The Minimalist Attempt

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! I apologize for not writing, I started to write some posts about the moving process, but I became too overwhelmed to continue.  It is amazing how much stuff can induce stress.  Going through this second move made me thankful that we had been simplifying our possessions all year, but also made me determined to cut down even more.  My goal with this post is to give a recap of how we went about downsizing, packing and moving over to the U.S. and in future posts I will highlight some of my strategies to remain and work on becoming even more minimalist as we set up our new home!

Back in Israel we managed to sell/donate/give away all of our furniture and housewares.  In a matter of 1 week we donated 7 bags of clothes and linens to charity.  We had trouble finding charities that would take our housewares and we had very limited time, so I created a facebook page and posted pictures for friends and family to view and claim items.  We made deliveries and gave our things new homes.  We were encouraged to leave the remaining items outside the apartment building, and sure enough our things were scooped up incredibly fast by neighbors and passer-bys.  One woman who took many of our kitchen supplies had been through an apartment fire the week before and lost everything, we were thrilled to be able to give her our things.

Even after my past post: "Paper Clutter - It Happens To Us All", I still found we had way too much paper to attempt to take to the U.S.  I spent 2 hours sifting through our paper, we made one binder of things to leave at my inlaws, one binder to take with us, and a stack of papers to scan and keep digital copies.

After all the sorting, purging, organizing and packing, all our items fit into 4 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, 1 purse and 1 computer bag.  We shipped 1 large and 1 medium box of items to our new place.

The contents of our suitcases included clothes and shoes, but also a Queen sized down comforter, 2 pillows, duvet set and 8 place-settings of dishes.  Items we shipped included 2 robes, 4 sweatshirts, long sleeves shirts, 2 light coats and some smaller housewares we love and wanted in our new home.  Overall I feel good about the amount we traveled with.  We were able to condense and fit everything into a sedan once we reached stateside.  We do need furniture and other home supplies in our new place, and I will report on those decisions in a future post.

In conclusion: everything arrived safe and sound and we are setting up quite fast in our new space since we do not have a ton to put away, but more on that later!  The 2nd international move in 1 year is officially complete! Phew! We made it! Cheers to that!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

T-Shirt Experiment Results

After a few weeks (I didn't really keep count) of hiding my husband's 7 t-shirts he only remembered and wanted to keep one of them.  After reviewing the others that he had forgotten, he agreed to let them go to charity!  In that very moment he also agreed to go through his dress shirts and ended up tossing 5 of them!  We also took this opportunity to start packing up our clothes which is proving to be much easier than last time.  Let me know if you embark on your own T-Shirt experiment and I will feature you in a future post!

Hubby saying goodbye to his T-Shirts!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Green Discovery: Glass Recycling!

So I LOVE being proved wrong when it comes to recycling limitations. In past post "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle - Green Minimalism!" I stated that Israel does not recycle glass.  Well, on a bus ride recently we discovered that the neighboring suburb started a glass-recycling program!  This is pretty big and could not have come at a better time.  With our upcoming move we were going to have to throw away the collection of glass jars we have used for storage.  We were more than happy to load up our nifty little cart and took a short 10 minute walk to recycle our glass.

While it took a little more effort, we were excited that we could recycle the jars instead of throwing them in the trash, making our move a little more environmentally friendly.  What recycling programs do your communities offer? Any exciting and innovating programs?  What do you do to live a greener and simpler life at home?  Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Gallery of Misc Stuff

As we prep to move out of our apartment in ONE week I have gone through all of our stuff and decided what to keep, what to sell, what to donate and what to toss into the garbage.  Even though we have done a great job this year at simplifying our possessions we still amassed quite the pile. I collected all the miscellaneous stuff that we do not plan to keep, or have not used or really enjoy and made a gallery on our coffee table:

Some of these things like the picture frames and vases we greatly enjoyed, but are not going with us to the states.  Others were gifts from friends over the years that gave us joy but are now ready to move on. As we went through our things we asked ourselves the following questions:

1) Is this item useful? - And not theoretically useful, but have we actually used the item?
2) Does this item bring me joy? - Does the item bring back good memories and do we love having it in our lives?
3) Is it replaceable? - Sometimes the answer to 1 & 2 are yes, but it may still not be worth it to try and pack it up and take it back overseas.  Some items I decided were not replaceable were our dishes that we LOVE and received as wedding gifts.  I think of the people who gifted us these dishes every day and it brings me joy.  Even if the actual dishes are physically replaceable, I know it would pain me to know they weren't the items gifted by my beloved friends and family.

We will keep the gallery open for friends and family to look through and at the end of the week we will throw or donate the rest.  I have been hunting for organizations that do pick-ups from private homes, and hope to find one this week and save a few trips by car since we need to borrow each time.  Wish me luck as we near the finish line!

Do you have any moving tips and tricks?  Good moving stories for inspiration and motivation?  Please share in the comments!