Eight weeks after moving back and starting to unpack, I am still missing things. Nothing vital, apparently, small things. I just wonder where the stuff went…?
I have unpacked all boxes or looked them through and stored them again in the basement. Comic boos I don’t need, well packaged Madonna collection stuff, kitchen utensils I don’t need as the kitchen is well equipped…. it all stays down there.
Now and then though I realize something is missing. Didn’t I have a…[insert anything you can think of]…?
For example, I could not find a single bed sheet, the ones you wrap around the mattress… Nowhere to be found. So I keep washing and drying the one that came with the apartment, endlessly.
If I have one fashion item that I succumb to, it’s the man bag, or ‘murse’ [e.g. man purse]. I love them in all styles and materials, and I had more than a dozen.
I donated some or threw them out, but I had several stylish leather ones… Gone!
It leaves me speechless. Where on earth has that stuff gone?
On the other side, I unearth stuff that I totally forgot I had – and wonder why I ever bought it in the first place.
After clearing out my things of all clutter for two years prior to departure, I though I had boiled it down to the bare essentials.
Well, far from.
I still have so many things that I want to get rid of, that I will soon start a second round of de-cluttering… There’s vases and mugs, heavy decorative bookends, frames and clothes.
I think I still have over 200 t-shirts, and surely over 50 shirts to wear under a suit. Ok, I only own one suit. And I don’t think I’ll change that.
I have a Ralph Lauren bathrobe (bought cheap in a US outlet store) that I wore once. Out.
Did I mention that I had so many fridge magnets from various exhibitions that there was actually more money hanging on the fridge door than the whole fridge was ever worth? I mean, come on. Why?
I brought books up from the basement that I have bought – years ago, but never read. I am now going through them one by one, and once read I’ll decide if I keep a few, the others I will pass on.
I remember that towards the end of my journey I felt like I never wanted to see these clothes again, that I would burn them, if they don’t fall apart…
Well, fact is: I still wear the same stuff. Now rather as a memory to the journey, and the time I spent in them.
I think I am pushing a few limits at work where all colleagues are sporting their chic suits and ties… while I am running around in my Burning-Man-worn brown-orange-y Camper shoes, saggy brown jeans and old pullovers.
I still feel like all these possessions are wearing me out, are pulling me down. I need to live lighter.
Maybe for the next journey I’ll have only 20 boxes in storage.
Don’t get me wrong, – surely don’t want to live in a standardized, soulless apartment devoid of personal things and memories.
In fact, I enjoyed the Airbnb places the most that were actually used as my hosts’ home, not just as an Airbnb apartment without any character.
However, I think I’ll need a lot less things to achieve that feeling of home. And somehow, I have a feeling, my homes will rather be temporary from now on.
I am still thinking about buying a place in Brussels, finally, after paying rent for about 12 years.
But I think it will be just a smaller studio, noting big, just a foot in the door, a place to come back to.