Well, I can give all the credit to The Year of More!
In November 2014 I started hearing a little whisper in my head saying, 'sell the house, sell the house'.
The Year of More had found its voice in a Major way. And I suspected it would only get louder and louder.
I loved living in The Tree House. I loved how safe I felt there on my own. I loved the home I'd built within those walls. I loved the time and energy I spent decorating (yes, even painting one wall six times… it’s a long story!). I especially loved creating The Audrey Room and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Room. I loved the time I spent there with family and friends - the hugs, the laughter, the snorts, the champagne and yummy food. I had not one single unhappy memory from the two years I'd lived there.
Although Steve wanting to share the cushions on my daybed did unsettle me for a minute or two. Especially as he chose to make himself comfortable on a public holiday and lazing on the daybed was exactly what I had planned for the day!
But I had fallen head over heels in House Love and knew I had to live there.
So live there I did.
And I loved every minute of it.
Oh, except for the early morning wake up calls via crazy birds continually tapping on my windows! They were Nutty McNutty those birds. Cute but nutty.
But The Year of More has quite simply been the best thing I've ever done in my entire life to identify what brings me joy and to create more of it.
So eventually I listened to the voice in my head.
It just felt right.
As did my new lovely abode!
I found My New Home on the first day I went 'home shopping' - a cute little 32 year old unit a block from the beach.
It has everything I need and nothing I don't.
There is nothing excessive about it. Nothing fancy. Nothing large.
It's perfect for me.
I went from 189sqm to 82sqm - yes, that's how large The Tree House was. Which is quite a lot of space for one little person to live in hey? It's a little embarrassing sharing this with you actually.
But I have seen the error of My Wanting Ways!
I needed to do a lot of decluttering. A lot. Selling and giving away my belongings was exciting, fun and challenging at times, but it was also very, very time consuming.
And this move was definitely My Greatest Lesson Ever in Letting Go of Things.
At first I thought I would have to part with my zebra chaise lounge - one of my favourite places to relax with a book – but I put a lot of thought into what I wanted my new space to feel and look like (I even created a nerdy floor plan and drew in all my furniture – to scale of course) and I knew I would get more use out of Zebby than what I would out of my beautiful dining table.
Goodbye to my fabulously comfy lounge I bought three homes ago, we've had so many fun times and so many people I adore have shared that space with me. The leather has soaked in secrets and tears and grief and laughter and hugs and love.
Do you know the amount of words I’ve read and written, the great movies I've watched, the glasses of champagne I've consumed, the number of friends who've sat with me in that space? Oodles and oodles.
Stuff is just stuff but it also plays a part in building memories of our experiences.
I took with me what I need, use and love and everything else was sold or gifted with love and gratitude.
Gumtree was a wonderful way to sell my furniture. I met the loveliest people, everyone turned up when they said they would and only one person even wanted to negotiate the price.
I gave lots and lots and LOTS of things away too, which is always heaps of fun. My favourite things to give away were part of my Very Large Collection of Frames as I knew I wouldn’t have enough wall space for them in my new home. So I printed out quotes about ‘home’ to put in them and I donated them to the same organisation I donated my Christmas Tree to last year - IFYS (Integrated Family Youth Services) and my contact there said they would make lots of people very happy as the people they work with often don’t have many decorative items. It was so joyful dropping them off to her. I didn’t feel quite that much joy when people handed a wad of money to me after buying my couch or dining table or bed so this proved once again there is way more joy in giving things away than in selling them!
So listening to that voice and deciding to sell the house took me by surprise as this was most definitely A Fabulous Financial Decision.
Once I got over the initial shock of The Year of More wanting me to sell the house, I felt the flutter of excitement in my tummy at the thought of relieving myself of half of my worldly possessions and having a smaller mortgage. And being close to the beach again! Oh how I’d missed being able to walk to visit my beautiful ocean.
I loved anything to do with houses. I spent hours playing with my dolls house (I never did get Barbie's Dream House or camper van) and when I got a bit older Mum and I would go and look at the display homes in new estates a few suburbs away. I dreamt of one day designing my own house so when I started working I would buy design magazines and fall in love with all the beautiful homes on those glossy pages.
I’ve moved homes more in the last eight years than what I did in the almost 40 years prior to that and each move has been for a different reason. Some moves were emotional, some were stressful and some were easy-peasy and everything came together effortlessly – oh how I love and appreciate those ones more now!
But every one of those moves has been a positive one, a decision that has enriched my life in some way, even if I didn't think so at the time. And although I've yet to design a house from the outside I have absolutely loved creating what that space will look and feel like on the inside.
I love living in My Little Unit by the Sea and I can honestly say it’s My Favourite Home Ever, which is saying something as I’ve lived in many homes I’ve loved to bits.
But being able to hear the ocean as I go to sleep; and to be able to see the ocean from bed. Well, it doesn’t get much better than that for me.
So here are some of my Moving Joy tips should you ever find yourself moving to a new abode:
- An ironing board makes a great bubble-wrapping station if you've sold your dining table.
- Buy used (but perfectly good) packing boxes from the Tip - 50 cents each and in such good condition!
- Have a plentiful supply of your favourite snacks and beverages on hand.
- Sell or give away everything which doesn't Spark Joy in your life - best decluttering method ever! For more about this go to http://konmari.com/en/
- Give away things that you know will Spark Joy for someone else - giving is So Much Fun.
- Be realistic when selling items - your goal is to sell them quickly so don't forget to factor in the Cost of Your Time if it takes a month and you have to spend hours waiting for potential buyers to show up.
- Make sure The Universe and Your Vision Board are talking to each other and agree on the plan! This is of utmost importance.
- Try not to move 3 days before a major work event. (But if that is the way it pans out, refer to No. 3 and quadruple the amount!)
- Reflect on the joy that was created in the home you're leaving and feel that bubble of excitement about the joy you'll create in your new home.
- Too exhausted to feel that bubble of excitement just yet? It will come, I promise.
- Avoid moving on a Full Moon - emotional and physical exhaustion is multiplied by a gazillion. (However being able to see the magnificent moon from your new balcony will ease the pain somewhat.)
Our intuition is incredibly powerful but we don’t always hear it. Or we hear it and doubt whether we actually heard or felt anything.
We don’t trust it enough.
I didn't realise what it was back then but my first experience of The Voice of Intuition was when I was ten years old. Mum and I were on our way to visit friends on the other side of Melbourne. All of a sudden I heard a voice in my head say 'tighten your seatbelt' so I did. At ten I was probably still prone to doing what I was told! And less than five minutes later a car went through a stop sign and hit the back of Mum's car and seconds after that we were both hanging upside-down in the car after it had rolled onto the roof from the impact.
As well as my intuition kicking in, Mum's Very Old car saved us that day.
I don’t have any photos of Mum’s car but this is what it looked like (Mum’s was dark green). It was a tough old thing. One of the police officers said the car had saved us from being seriously injured.
That accident left me traumatised for a long time; I was an incredibly nervous passenger for many years afterward. I also put off getting my licence for a couple of years after I turned 18 and I had a ridiculous amount of lessons before going for my driving test (which I failed the first time because I was so nervous). When I did finally start driving on my own, it took me years and years to feel confident driving. I can’t imagine it now as I love driving but back then I had a very real fear of being in another car accident.
But I also received a wonderful gift that day. To listen to my inner voice. Things may have turned out differently if I hadn’t tightened my seatbelt just before the car hit us.
So I think I shall continue listening to it.
Thank you so much for joining me on this wonderful journey. Even though The Year of More officially ended way back in March, it didn’t feel right to leave this story unfinished.
I hope you’ll come on my next journey with me. Twenty-Sixteen is going to be The Year of More Simplicity and I cannot wait to see what that brings to my life!
‘There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, 'I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.' No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what's right for you - just listen to the voice that speaks inside.’ Shel Silverstein