After moving to Canada with only one and a half suitcases, I’ve started to realize. I have too much stuff. 


Back home in Portsmouth (UK), my partner and I lived in a small one-bedroom flat (apartment); it wasn’t more than 600 sqft. We’d lived there for two years, so you’d expect to accumulate some stuff, but in the weeks leading up to our move across the Atlantic, I made numerous trips to the tip (the dump). I did a car boot sale (a yard sale but out of the trunk of our car), and I gave away a lot of stuff to friends. 


I took multiple bags of clothes, nick nacks, books, etc. to charity shops (thrift stores) and stored the rest in my parent’s house — much to their dismay. We even sent some of our furniture to France. Although in our defense, my better half’s parents live in France and have lots of storage, so that decision wasn’t as excessive as it sounds. 


But just thinking about the sheer amount of crap I got rid of and the amount of things that are still stored in every nook and cranny in our parent’s houses, I feel a little embarrassed, and I realise. We still have too much stuff. I thought I was being mindful of what we were keeping, but I recognise now, there was definitely more stuff I could have donated. But not my vacuum, I bloody love that thing.


Since moving, my mindset has started to shift. I am not a minimalist (by any means), but I’ve started to be more thoughtful about every single purchase. We don’t know if Canada will become our forever home, so every time I buy something, I ask myself the following questions:


Will this enhance my life over the next year and a half?

Can I take it back on a plane with me?

Do I want/need to take it back with me?


And I really hope that I can continue with that mindset because having too much stuff is a problem. I now have more square footage at my disposal (you guys have seriously big homes, it’s crazy) but have less than half the things around me, than I did six months ago, and it’s freeing. They say a tidy house equals a tidy mind and they’re right. I used to come home and audibly sigh at the stuff everywhere. I used to get frustrated at trying to pull the right pan out of the cupboard and having to move things around every time I cleaned, which was a lot by the way because clutter is a dust magnet. But I’d convinced myself that I needed all those pots and pans, that I needed the extra throw pillow on the sofa, the numerous candles even though I’d barely ever light them. 


Now I come home and don’t feel claustrophobic; it doesn’t take me as long to clean even though it’s a bigger space, and I don’t look at things and think why on earth do we have that? The stuff I do have makes me happy because I made a conscious decision to choose it. 


It’s been a challenge, though; it’s hard to avoid the temptation to fill space, especially when I’m trying to make a new country feel homely, and I believe that’s where part of the problem lies. We’re bombarded with temptation to buy things on a minute by minute basis. We continually see stuff that we’re told we need to buy to make our home cosier or our lives easier, and we’re conditioned to think that the more things we have, the more successful we are, and that space is there to be filled.  I’ve started to realise that these things aren’t true. The only thing that really matters is your happiness, and for me, now, that means having less stuff. 


So, to our parents, I apologise for all the unnecessary crap we left behind – I promise to sort through it when we come back to visit.


This blog post was written by Faith, our social media gal and resident Brit.