We are going to move to Europe later this year and we have decided to sell most things we own. As a matter of fact we have been letting go off stuff since Christmas. Some things have sold well and others took their time. It certainly does not run of the shelves but it is going bit by bit.
‘Letting go’ versus shipping
You may ask the reason why we want to sell our possessions. The simple answer is that it is too expensive to ship things over to Europe. Most of the items we have are either too old or easily replaceable. I know you get attached to things but as soon as you don’t see them for a while, that feeling just goes!
Off course we will take our favourites, things with a special meaning for us or for our kids. For instance we have always liked to buy local art and have accumulated a fair few paintings. We will very likely take those.
It certainly helps that we have a fully furnished house in France. We have kitted it out as a holiday rental located in a gorgeous little town called Limoux in the Languedoc region of France.
If we would decide to take our furniture we will have to store it somewhere in Europe. In doing so we only will be creating another cost. The house in Limoux does not really need anything. Yes, maybe we could replace certain items with items we have here, but it is not essential.
At the moment we are neither immediate planning to buy another house or rent an empty house for which we would need furniture. So the idea is clear- everything has to go.
Let’s settle for ‘letting go’
It is a great feeling to ‘cleanse’ your house from the many things you have but don’t really need. Bit by bit our house is getting emptier. It almost feels like ticking off a to-do list. We have created a so-called ‘Europe Fund’ that will act as our ‘start-up’ once we are in Europe.
Before I went to France to buy a house, I had total different expectations about prices in France. When I actually started buying household items I realised that it was not hard to pick up bargains. Off course it makes a difference whether you want recycled or new stuff.
France versus Australia
We mostly went for used and it has turned out to be fairly easy to pick up great bargains in France. People in Australia would not believe me if I told them what I have been able to buy things for. The base level for costs of living in France for most things seems a lot lower than in Australia.
Many people will say that the wages in Australia are a lot higher. They are somehow higher but not to the extent to justify the prices we pay for basic items. To be honest that is one of the reasons I can get stroppy about this country Down Under.
We are very aware that we probably would not be able to ever retire in Australia. Also we sold our house 5 years ago and have been renting since. I fear that if you don’t own a house without a mortgage in Australia, it will be hard to retire. There is a state pension scheme but the promoted idea is to save up for your retirement in a system called superannuation.
In France it was possible to buy a house, a basic house, for the same money as you have to put down for a BMW here in Australia. So we bought the house, maybe you chose the car. I suggest we compare depreciation and monetisation….
So in sum, we are planning to leave Oz with a suit case each. Our youngest offspring more likely two! Add to that a small corner of a container with some treasured items that we would like to keep. When we open up the boxes in Europe, I can guarantee you that even then, we will ask ourselves why we took it.
But you have to draw the line somewhere. It is after all part of our past and maybe for the future of our kids or their kids.
Fear of letting go….
Possessions and clutter are a weird phenomenon. The hoarders amongst us find it extremely hard to let go. I sense it is more of an emotional connection than a practical one.
I am actually going to attempt to help Keith’s mum de-clutter her cupboards after I arrive in London in July. After all when you have dropped clothes 😆 size from 10/12 to 6/8 and don’t seem to be able to eat enough to gain a single gram, it is time to shed some of the size 10/12 items. Don’t you think so?
A huge advantage for us will be that we get a bit more space allocated in the chest of drawers in our bedroom. Usually it is one drawer to share so we never even bother to unpack our suitcases.
I am kind off looking forward to that 😈
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