Being Content – New Zealand Pt. 3

Shane —  December 2, 2011 — 7 Comments

Inspirational and Motivational

We have only been in the States for four years now, how on earth did we get this much STUFF ?!?!  Long before the details of the move were planned we were asking ourselves this question.One of the issues of moving overseas is figuring out whether it is worth shipping things over or just buying new stuff when you get there.  We have four kids, which means anything we own is probably not worth shipping.  So, it was time to get rid of things.  (Sell, give away, or throw out)  It was an interesting process as we looked at how much we owned and sorted through what we thought we really needed.The process is now completed and this family of 6 is moving to New Zealand with 16 boxes/suitcases, that’s it.This is what I noticed in the process:

Before getting ready to move my thinking was “I need this or that, I wish I had one of those.”  Once it came to thinning out for a move, I was thinking “Look at all this stuff we have!”.  What’s wrong with this picture?

There was something comforting about simplifying my life.  I became content with what I had instead of feeling like I was lacking and needed more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having a lot of things.  However, when we got honest with ourselves as to what we really needed, it was very freeing.  To realize how simply we could live was a shift in my thinking.

When we get to New Zealand, obviously, we will be acquiring more stuff.  (It’s nice to sit on furniture instead of the floor)  However, if we can’t be content with what we have now it doesn’t matter how much more we get, we still won’t be content.  So yes, we have a wish list in mind for our new house in New Zealand and we have realized that being content has nothing to do with whether we get the things on that list or not.

By the way, does anybody have any packing tape?  I just ran out.

Shane

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7 responses to Being Content – New Zealand Pt. 3

  1. I can so relate to what you are saying here and I totally agree. My husband and I and 3 kids moved 3 times this past year. The first time moving out of our house of 10 years. WAY too much stuff. It was an experience that I so believe God lead us to, as we have totally shifted in our thinking of stuff and our priorities have definately changed for the better. We live in a much smaller home now and have much less stuff and we are much happier. Don’t get me wrong, we still like stuff too, but now we realy aproach things from a need vs want aspect and make sure it is really something we want if that is our motivation to get it and living in gratitude for ALL of it, every day! Thanks for the post on this topic and cudos to you and your family for getting it down to 16 boxes and suitcases! Woohoo! I believe you made the right choice!

  2. This is SO great! I am simplifying as I prepare my life for my soon-to-be-husband to move into my house next fall 🙂 when we get married. I have been taking at least one huge load to the donation center each week. It is really a great feeling to get rid of things. I have a few good rules I have implemented: 1) if I don’t use it/wear it/look at it for more than a year, it outta here! 2) With paperwork, not to handle it more than once…so mail gets read and properly placed or disposed of when I look at it. This is such a relief for this low-level generational hoarder!

    I admire the fact that you guys did this with 16 boxes/suitcases! Ah, the simple life with not as much stuff makes the head clearer!

  3. A friend had present the idea to me this year while I was “starting over”. He suggested the idea of ‘less stuff, more living’. I have shifted my mindset to wanting what I have as opposed to working an obscene amount of time to get ” what I want”. Not that I don’t set goals and work towards my wants, but my wants have moved from “stuff” to LIFE. A person truly is measured by the life they have lived, not by the items they have left behind

  4. We applaud you for your paradigm-shifting radical decision to go simple. I also love Cyndy’s comment. We did much the same move from Ireland 6 years ago. Now that we are moving again, I was horrified to discover that we’d accumulated just as much stuff the second time around. The trick is keeping it simple when you get settled! (and realizing life’s not about money or stuff) May God abundantly bless you in the richness of meaningful friendships, the great value of a good reputation, the treasure of a unified marriage and the inheritance of children who run after the Lord!

  5. I have moved more than a few times for my career with the Army Corp. Each time I move, I go through the same process you describe. I remember giving my halibut poles away when I left Anchorage after many years. I was going to keep them and then I thought “when the heck will I ever use a fishing pole as thick as a broom handle in the lower 48?”. I did keep a hundred feet of anchor line though…a guy can never have too much rope, especially good rope!

    • Awesome! Thanks for the share Doug. And yes you’re right, you can never have too much rope. Especially, good rope!!! I brought my climbing rope with me to New Zealand. Now which box/bag is that in? 🙂

  6. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and insights with us. We really appreciate your feedback.

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