Navigating the Unknown: Moving, Storage, and Letting Go of Unnecessary Burdens

Navigating the Unknown: Moving, Storage, and Letting Go of Unnecessary Burdens

We did it! We sold out home and said goodbye to the East Coast (for now!) and hello to the Silver Coast! 

Group of four children and their dog standing in the front yard in Massachusetts, USA

 The last photo of our kids at the home we bought when I was pregnant with our second child and our oldest had just turned 2! Two more kids and ten years later.... This was definitely a bittersweet moment!

Navigating the Unknown 

The past few months have been a whirlwind. Remarkably, we sold our house before even consulting a realtor. It was just meant to be! However, that also meant that we weren't really prepared for the enormous task of cleaning out the house and getting it ready for the new owners. We just had to get to work and get packing! 

One of the most challenging aspects of this phase was that we weren't moving to another house. We were moving out of one home, but not moving directly into another one. We found ourselves wondering what to do with all of our stuff. We didn't know if we should ship our favorite belongings to Portugal or place them in storage. However, the soaring prices of shipping pallets and containers, coupled with the possibility of shipment delays and additional expenses from customs made the pallet and container option not feasible for us. 

The Perfect Solution 

Given the time constraints, we quickly opted to rent a 10' x 10' storage unit near our recently sold house, rather than pursuing any shipping options. Surprisingly, this choice proved to be ideal for our circumstances. 

 Image showing three photos in front of a packed storage unit and featuring the wife and husband who the packed items belong to.

 We definitely packed the storage unit to the limits and were so happy to shut the door and lock it up! We were exhausted!!

Preserving the Familiar  

Although the home in Portugal is fully furnished, we knew how important it would be for our children to have their favorite possessions (including way too many squishmallows!).

A mountain of squishmallow stuffed toys piled high on top of a chair.

Additionally, there were extra things like bath towels, beach towels, and my favorite cooking utensils that I really wanted to bring along. Our solution was to pack these items in our luggage. Admittedly, we brought some items that we may not ultimately use (the endless wardrobe of tween and teen girls!), but it was a worthwhile sacrifice to maintain our sanity.  

Respecting Attachment 

We established a rule that no one would be forced to part with anything that held sentimental value or caused unnecessary stress. This adventure is crazy enough without burdening the kids (or adults!) with the pressure of getting rid of cherished possessions. Luckily the kids were ready to part with a lot of toys that they had outgrown and knowing that we had the storage space for the items we wanted to keep really helped.

We had lots of conversations about what truly mattered to each of us, and while we faced difficult choices, the process of decluttering and donating ended up being really cathartic.

Back of van packed with household items being dropped off at a donation center 

I lost track of how many trips we made to Savers! We donated at least 25 van-loads (probably double that!). And each trip actually felt better than the last! 

Discovering What Truly Matters 

A remarkable outcome of this whole process was the realization of what genuinely held significance to each of us and how little most of our possessions really mattered to each of us. Possessing something for a long time doesn't necessarily mean it must be kept forever! Stuff is just stuff, but the memories will still be there! 

Transitioning the Business 

Another stressful part of this journey was the decision I had to make regarding the online business that I've had for over ten years. With a home studio brimming with equipment and raw materials, I had to determine the best way of moving forward while also clearing out the studio before our closing date.

While I'll continue creating digital products once we settle down, I recognized that producing physical items was no longer feasible. Thankfully, time didn't permit any indecisiveness! I had to make a firm decision and stand by it.

Once I acknowledged that parting with the raw materials and finished goods was necessary, it was much easier to deal with it all. Some items were donated and some were sold, but all are now gone. I'd been contemplating this shift for a while now, yet I hesitated to let go of the business. Now, I'm so glad that I moved on!! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I'm really excited to focus on the more creative and digital sides of the business again! 

Embracing the Unexpected 

As we've closed one chapter and begun the next, we've encountered numerous challenges and made tough decisions along the way. However, these experiences taught us all valuable lessons about prioritizing what truly matters and letting go of unnecessary burdens.   

As we look on this journey of selling our family home and embarking on an epic family adventure, we're grateful for the lessons learned, the cherished memories created, and the excitement of what the future holds.  

Lots of luggage and backpacks with a Coton de Tulear dog laying on top, in front of a garage door, ready for an adventure.

Life is an adventure and we're so excited to have taken this leap into the unknown!


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