We packed our 10×10 storage unit and our van, FULL of all of our belongings this week. The rest we sold or donated, some things given to family & friends along the way. We got really good at detaching from items and making a quick call of whether to keep or part with items. An aqua cake stand with handpainted butterflies was among items hard to part with. I knew it had served it’s time in our home, and holding onto the item, wasn’t holding onto my grandmother, so we passed it along. My grandmother used it for my wedding shower. It’s hardest to part with items we hold with sentimental memories. I was pleasantly surprised to see it in use the weekend before we left celebrating a new baby girl being born into the family. Knowing it’s now bringing new joy to someone else, makes it so much easier to part with items we cherish.
The storage unit holds the beds, and couches we love. Pictures, lamps and our art. Sheets, towels, pots and pans. All of the things we will need when we return, or just couldn’t part with. Our van held our clothes, homeschool materials, toys and all the legos you can imagine. Russell’s work stuff, our coffee grinder, a sharp knife (why do all rentals have terrible knives?!) and things we couldn’t live without while traveling like my favorite blanket, a family photo, and my favorite mug. Look, we never claimed to be traveling LIGHT and practical 😉
We had some awesome family (Thanks Rileys and Rogers) send us off with a going away party on Saturday and we said our “see ya laters” to many dear friends and family. We stayed in a hotel Saturday and Sunday night since we had well, everything (like our beds), in storage. We left much of what we are traveling with inside our otherwise empty house, since we didn’t want to leave it in our car overnight. We had a family dinner to say one last “see you later” to them. We explored the NC State bell tower since it was across the street and let the kids run and play, while Russell and I soaked in being in Raleigh for our last night for a while. Monday morning, we had breakfast at one of our favorites, Jubala.
We returned on Monday morning to our house, and gathered our travel gear. Said final goodbye to our house of nine years. Russell and I bought that townhouse as mere babies ourselves. I vividly remember struggling to fill the rooms since we moved from a one bedroom one bathroom apartment, to a three bedroom two and a half bath townhouse. We had a very bare office and guest room up until we became parents. In 2011, when our boys arrived, we quickly filled it. In 2012, just 5 months later when our daughter arrived, we quickly overflowed it. Over the years we learned to downsize to live within the contents of those 1500 square feet. That home is where we learned to be homeowners, parents, and a little more of how to be ourselves and what we wanted our family as a whole to value. We had lost teeth, babies turn into kids, and a slew of memories with friends and family and crowded parties. So.many.memories. Oddly enough, saying goodbye to that house wasn’t hard. Maybe because I had already shed tears thinking about the memories made before we moved out. Maybe because we really had so much peace about this being the right decision for our family. Maybe I’m in denial it’s really gone. I’m still not sure, I’lll keep you posted. 😉 Mostly, I think in the decluttering & donating, we’ve learned that physical stuff isn’t where our memories are held, that includes a house. We had a tear free goodbye & headed off for Asheville.
I still can’t believe we did it. We took a dream, and made it reality.
*We are sharing this journey to encourage others to live their dream. So honesty in the process just has to be part of it. That said, it hasn’t been all sunshine & rainbows. It HAS been a very smooth process. BUT we still bounce between I can’t believe we GET TO DO THIS, and I CAN’T BELIEVE WE ARE DOING THIS, WHAT ARE WE THINKING!? I think that is par for the course. Fear comes with change, but theres also so much peace and joy. So, here we are, stop number one, our month in Asheville.