What if you had to fit your life into a 6' by 7' by 8' box?
For most of us it’s a terrifying thought. Look around your home, what could you take and what would you have to leave behind?
I should probably have my head examined, but this is what I've chosen to do with this move back to Maine. Instead of renting a truck to fit everything that is housed within the walls of my 750ish square foot condominium, I've rented a ReloCube. Just one. And it measures 6' by 7' by 8'. That’s not much room. Certainly not enough to fit everything in this two bedroom unit. Yet I've done it purposely.
During a move in 2004 I did something even crazier. I only packed what would fit in a Ford Focus. That was when I discovered something shocking. Ridding myself of all but what I considered the most important things in my possession was oddly freeing. If moving to a new place was a new beginning, doing so with practically nothing was like having a blank page to start a brand new life chapter.
Unencumbered by things I wasn't limited to being what I was before, I could recreate my style, my passions and my life to fit the changes that had transformed me inside. I was surprised at the amount of influence having items from my past could have. Everyday items like old clothing, books and furnishings were silent reminders of who I was. Starting over without them meant that the me who had been changed by divorce and adversity could shine without the shadow of who I had been being cast by things from the past.
Now, having again emerged from a life chrysalis in a new, yet familiar form it just feels right for another emancipation from things that are no longer required by this new me. As freeing as it is, it’s not a step for the faint of heart.
It requires bravery to let go of the trappings that you so closely associate with your life, even if they no longer really fit who you are.
Not everyone finds a blank page exciting, like an author with writer’s block, being faced with starting new can leave some people stuck, not exactly sure where to start or where they want to go.
So just what are some of the things that will end up in the box? Only clothes that fit. My art/craft supplies. Musical instruments. Christmas ornaments and holiday dishes. Printers and other office gear that my business requires. Items that have been used in the past year. Items that have a special history or are irreplaceable in some way.
What things won’t make it in? Lots of books with no sentimental value. Lots of DVDs. Lots of CD’s. Most of the furniture, including my ten year old desk. Most of my kitchenware and Pfaltzgraff dishes. An eclectic assortment of home decor items that fill several boxes. Clothing that is too big. Clothing that is too small. Clothing that I haven’t worn in 18 months.
The computers will be packed into my little car along with photographs and special family and event mementos. Followed by the cat, my son and me.
Yes, a fresh start includes bringing along a lot of things from the past. The good things. Because those are the things I want to build my new adventure on, leaving behind anything unneccessary. Like a good upcycling project, a solid piece of history is required. All that I will need to start will be inside that 6' by 7' by 8' box.
What about you? If you were limited to that small box, what would you put inside?