I have been very fortunate in this life. I’ve had a good job and earned a good salary. We’ve had a good standard of living, enjoyed nice holidays, experienced many different countries and cultures.
I am now in a position to “pay it forward” as we pack up our home here in London and head to Australia.
We’d downsize anyway, now that our daughters have moved out. As we are putting our “stuff” into storage and only taking a suitcase each to Hobart, it has been a time to sort out, to let go of physical things.
Usually when you move house, you know where you are moving to, you can picture your stuff in a new space. We can’t do that. So we are being fairly ruthless, “do we really need to keep this?”
We have had our money’s worth from all our furniture, from all our possessions.
We started married life with suitcases of clothes, a stereo, some records and a couple of borrowed deck chairs. Fifteen years and two kids later we moved from a two bedroom place, into this four bedroom house. We filled a large removal lorry!
Twelve years on, we now have a five square foot storage unit, for a few bits of furniture, personal things, treasured books, ornaments, photos, journals, crockery, kitchen equipment, stuff that we don’t want to part with. It will be interesting to see what we actually miss over the next year.
Over recent months we have sorted out the small stuff and given to the charity shop where I volunteered. Now, we have furniture, electrical’s, garden equipment to get rid of. We are happy to donate it, to pass it on. We have not wanted to sell it on e-bay or gumtree.
As I re-read my journals of 1985 I’ve been reminded of people’s generosity to me, of the “friends of friends of friends” that I stayed with, whose car’s I borrowed.
It is nice that I can “pay it forward” now. A charity collected some furniture last week and were very grateful. They will sell on at a reasonable price, doing other people a good turn, whilst raising funds to support sick people and their families.
I’m usually quiet about my charity involvement, charity giving, but I’m happy to share this. For me, at this point in my life, it feels right to pass things on, to pay it forward.
Sometimes, small things make a big difference to another person, a kind word, a phone call or card in the post, a thoughtful gift. I hope our stuff can make a small difference to someone else, somewhere.
And for me, in future, I will buy less, think about what I want to purchase. I will accumulate a minimal amount of new stuff!