and Deciding what to Leave Behind

In other words… what stays and what goes?  What is worth keeping and shipping versus what should we sell or give away?  To a single minimalist, the answer is very simple; but when it comes to a family where one parent or child likes to get rid of things and another one doesn’t, it is more of an enigma that requires a lot of prayer, wisdom and patience.  These are the things we are doing:

  1. Ask someone who has gone before you.  I have emailed a few friends who have moved from our current location asking them what things are best to take and leave behind.  The perspective of someone who is already there will be very helpful.
  2. Investigate what you can afford to ship through a shipping company or take on an airplane.  This information is key and will help you know your limit of check-in baggage and your shipping company’s policy on prices, size and weight of shipments.  Find out if the airline has embargoes on plastic shipping/storage containers.
  3. Take things you can not replace.  Is there any special art, locally made piece of furniture, a favorite machete or hammocks that will be very difficult or too expensive to purchase in your future location?  In the US there are so many garage sales, Facebook local resale pages, and friends in which you can replace things like kitchenware, bedding, and clothes at very reasonable prices.  If you are moving from a hot and humid climate, your clothes (mostly for the summer season) may be too worn out to even bother packing up.
  4. Allot each child their own suitcase/storage container. footlockerEach of our kids will get a Sterilite Footlocker to use to pack their special things.  They will be allowed to pack special toys, books, cushions, blankets, etc. etc.  Whatever can fit in it that is special to them is fair game.
  5. Try to let go of your sentimental items.  We have been in the process of downsizing the amount of toys, books and stuff we and kids own.  It’s not easy and I have used the help of a few blogs to help me navigate the difficulty of de-cluttering in order to prepare for our move.  Find helpful posts on parting ways with sentimental items at LIFE HACKER and THE MINIMALIST blogs.
  6. Too many toys and books? Read the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim Payne.  I am finished with the section on toys and it is really helping me have a better perspective on which type of toy and what amount of toys is necessary. I’m hoping to write a review on this book once I finish reading it.

I hope this gives you a start on what can help you.  It has been really sweet to see my middle daughter start to set aside gift bags and placing special toys and books that belonged to her to give to her friends as farewell presents.  I am proud of her and I know it is very hard for her to do.  She will be blessed.

Do you have anything else to add about parting ways with stuff?  How have your children handled it?  Is there anything you would do differently if you had to do it all over again?


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