It’s a process.  Scaling down.  Minimizing.

It can be really hard at times.  Trying to visualize what will eventually fit packed into our 15-passenger van.  What do we need?  What can we do without?

We stored (at our friends) 1 Rubbermaid box of paperwork for CRA, and 1 box of personal items (wedding pics, wedding dress, heirloom pocket watch, etc) along with the back bench of our van and a few attachments for my dh’s machine for work.  I was impressed with how little we got that stash down to.

I heard that we shouldn’t be asking ourselves “Do I really need this?” or “Will it fit?” but

“Can I live without this?”

However, the reality is that we can live without almost all of what we’ve taken.  We really don’t need those bandaids……until we do.  We don’t need those pads of paper…..until we need to write notes.  (But then, do we really need to write down those notes?  Is it pertinent information?)

I honestly found it difficult to pack.  Often times I’d think “It’s not very big, I can just tuck it in.”   And since the money has already been spent, on say, bandaids, why get rid of them now when we will likely need them in the future?  That seems foolish.

And so as we emptied our house, the piles of “Taking” got bigger and bigger, and I knew it wasn’t likely to fit in the van.  But I just didn’t know what to leave behind.

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When the pressure was on, it was actually easier to get rid of stuff.  We were partially packed in the van, and still had a pile waiting in the garage to be added to the vehicle. We had given the house keys to the owners, and were now based out of the garage with time ticking.  We unpacked the van, opened up our Rubbermaid boxes and suitcases and started to make piles to give away.  When faced with the necessity of downsizing so that we could start on our adventure, it came quite easily, actually.  STUFF wouldn’t stop us.

I’m sure that in a few weeks we will probably be going through our cargo and getting rid of a bunch of it.  What we thought was important or worthy to pack will likely change as we travel, and we’ll re-evaluate whether we want to carry the weight and bulk of some of the things we’ve brought along.

For now, the house is empty and the van is crammed full.  But given a few months, maybe our van will be emptying, too…..while our hearts and memories get crammed full.

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