If I’ve learned one thing about myself in the last year, it’s that I like to do a lot of processing before responding to situations. A lot has changed in my life in the last 3 months and that’s why I think I’ve struggled to write anything here. Or at least that’s my excuse.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts with whoever wants to read them and I finally feel settled enough in my life again to write something that’s not just me saying how I have no idea what’s going on right now, which basically is all I would have said a couple of months ago. Now, I feel safe in the knowledge that I know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing for the next 5 months or so.

Many of you will be aware that at the beginning of September I moved back to New Zealand with Sean in tow. Much to many people’s surprise, we left our jobs without lining anything up on the other side. It was scary and difficult at times but I think it’s safe to say that everything worked out for us as we have landed a bit of a dream job. I will talk more about that another time but today I am going to share with you the saga of our belongings.

My advice to anyone who is moving is to not take ANYTHING with you that you don’t love, is easily replaceable or something that you can live without. For starters, shipping stuff is expensive. There’s the shipping companies fees and then there are import fees and customs tax. It cost us around £600 pounds in total to ship 7 medium-large boxes from the UK to NZ.

I had thought that we had done a pretty good job of only packing things that were either really useful or things that would be very expensive to replace in NZ. A lot of it was outdoor clothing and camping gear so when we found out we had been offered an outdoor-based job we were pretty keen for our things to arrive before we started. It initially looked like there was a good chance of that happening but that was based on my calculations and not the shipping company’s. We were given the option of starting work a few days late in the hope our boxes would arrive but we decided against it because you know, money and stuff. We redirected our things to my Aunt and Uncle’s garage in Auckland where we would be able to access it pretty easily when it did decide to arrive.

About a week after we started work we heard that our boxes had finally made it but we weren’t that excited which probably should have been my first clue. A few weeks later we arranged to go and pick everything up and bring it over to the island. I was expecting to be reunited with clothes that I had missed and things to play with. What actually ended up happening was us unpacking repacking most things and putting them in the spare room. I put some bits of clothing in my dresser and wardrobe but rather than feeling excited about having more options, I instead felt a bit stressed. I hadn’t been struggling to find something to wear every day and I didn’t like seeing my space start to fill up.

It’s amazing how detached you become from your possessions when you just don’t look at them for a while. There are no charity shops where we are so instead of donating everything in one go which is sort of what I felt like doing, I am going to give it a bit of time. After a month or so, anything that is in season but hasn’t been worn is going to go. I’m also going to pay attention to what was left in the boxes that I didn’t feel any need to go looking for.

Anyone who is also feeling overwhelmed by their possessions, I highly recommend trying The Minimalists packing challenge. Put everything you think you’re not using or wearing away in some boxes out of sight. If after say, three months you haven’t unpacked that item then it’s probably safe to sell or donate. Your things should make your life easier or make you feel good and should not be a source of stress. Just remember to dispose of things responsibly and try to think if there is anyone you know that could give that item a second life. Christmas is coming after all, why not make it the season of re-gifting!