This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
When we moved to Texas, it was the fifth move of our married life (sixth if you count moving my husband out of his dorm room the day after we tied the knot). And for me personally, it was the 12th official move of my life. That’s not counting moving to and from college each year for five years (yes, I was one of those), or the seven summers I worked at camp through high school and college, moving into the dorm in May or June and back home in August.
This is the life of church work. It’s a lot of relocating. My husband and I have purchased and sold four homes, rented four others, and I have become quite good at packing. I’ve also found myself with some minimalist tendencies now, because each time we move I get rid of everything I don’t love or use. It causes me to pause before making purchases, because I don’t want to spend money on “stuff” that I will just get rid of later.
Moving to Texas from Ohio REALLY kicked in this minimalism. It was a major move, crossing several states along the way. I didn’t want to pack ANYTHING that I didn’t love. In addition, we had some plastic storage units (drawers, cubes, etc.) that I didn’t think would survive the trip, so we gave all of that away. To be honest, storage stuff really needs to fit the house anyway, and each place we’ve lived has been completely different in terms of built-in storage (or lack thereof). The home we owned in Ohio was a brand-new townhouse, which honestly didn’t have a lot of built in storage. It’s just not something new builds include (unless you want to spend $$$ to make that happen). We had closets, sure, but the kitchen was part of an open-concept great room. While that lends itself to a lovely, airy feel, it also means that cabinets are limited. We didn’t have a pantry either. In fact, beyond the kitchen cupboards, the only main-floor storage was a small coat closet by the door. The basement stairs ran underneath the stairs to the second floor, so even that didn’t give us extra storage.
Needless to say, we had added shelves in the basement and utilized all three bedroom closets upstairs. We had cheap plywood bookcases in our “study” and used our china cupboard for everyday items.
The house we bought in Texas was older. It had built-ins, lots of them. It had an enclosed kitchen with cupboards on all four walls. I had empty kitchen cabinets! We didn’t need all of the extra storage pieces, so anything flimsy (like the bookcases) was given away.
Moving is a great opportunity for me to purge, honestly. Every move starts with me going through the house and gathering stuff that I don’t want to keep. Then I can start packing the things I do actually love and use (and that’s a tricky process too, to pack useful things when you might still need to use them).
What neither of us realized was how much living we would end up doing in our new home in Texas…
Next post coming tomorrow.