Living with less: Packing up a house for a round the world trip with kids

Getting rid of all our stuff for our family RTW trip!

You know when the laundry basket is overflowing and you get the feeling that if you start dealing with it it’s going to be a vicious cycle of putting clothes in and out of the washer and dryer, sorting them out and putting them away, all day? Now imagine that instead of the laundry basket it’s your entire house, and it’s full of stuff that you’ve accumulated over eight years and you have to clean it, sort it all out and decided what you are keeping, selling, chucking out or giving away. And heck, just for fun let’s imagine that for some reason you decided to home educate so there are three kids under 6 at home with you 24/7, playing with their toys and diving into the bags of stuff that you’ve sorted and begging you not to get rid of the bottom end of a chewed crayon that happens to be their favourite thing in the world.

Fun, right?

This is what Patrick and I will be doing for the next 4-6 months (we’re not entirely sure when we are leaving, we just know it will be between September and November). We currently rent a townhouse on the border of London and Surrey, and it’s full of the collateral that come with having kids and a life in once place: bags of baby clothes, old highchairs, baby toys, workout equipment, fashionable kitchen accessories that I used once and now collect dust in the cupboards (NB: spiralized courgette is not a good alternative to pasta. The only good alternative to pasta is other pasta). Every day I see more things that I now recognise as Stuff I Have To Deal With- the rug and lamps from the living room; our beds; our beanbags and cushions. It’s all got to go. Storage in London is expensive and we would end up paying more to store our stuff here than to just buy new things when we come back. The other day the constant sorting and piles of stuff got a bit overwhelming and I posted a hilarious video of myself having a tearful strop around the house on Instagram; the response was just amazing and it seems as though there are plenty of people who feel like they are sometimes drowning in life too!

We are really enjoying the fact that when we leave London for our new nomadic lifestyle it will be the opportunity for a fresh start; a chance to wipe the slate clean and really evaluate what things we need and what we can live without. There is something freeing and refreshing about carrying everything you own on your back like a fleshy tortoise; there is less to tidy, less to clean, less to worry about. Conversely, the time that we used to spend doing those thing will become more abundant and free to use as we like, whether that is spending time with the family or pursuing work or hobbies. It is a fairly large prospect; we are wondering how we will all fare with fewer things and it will surely be a challenge. But it will also be an adventure; something we are all in together and one that will hopefully strengthen our relationships as we focus less on things and more on people.

But first, we have to burrow our way out of this house.

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Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.

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