I know it's crazy timing (no, this hair-brained scheme was not my idea, rather the cards fell that way) - our holiday was booked a week before my landlady decided she was going to sell the flat. So in order to prepare, I spent last Saturday packing, both to go to Amsterdam and to move house.
It took a lot of planning, but in return a lot of good has come out of it. I've remastered the art of organisation (something I've enjoyed since my first time in the stationery section of Woolworths, may it forever rest in peace) and it took me less than a day to put my material life in two piles: holiday or new home. Here's my timeline on how I divided everything into two parts, and got rid of things I didn't need in a sustainable way...
ONE MONTH BEFORE
In the run up to moving, I was aware how much I've expanded since moving into my current flat in February. Despite having lived in three homes since 2015, I haven't been able to stop myself accessorising in every home I've had, with little bits that fit in one and not in the rest. On top of that, I've bought clothes, kitchenware, and homeware. It was time to cut down.
In my bedroom wardrobe I set out a large charity bag and threw items I hadn't used for at least 6 months into the bag. It didn't take long for things to start piling up: strap tops, heeled boots, a knitted hat, spare cushions, jeans that were too big, and more all landed in the bag. I then went about my life with these bits hidden away to see whether I could live without them all. There were a few things I reclaimed, such as a black work skirt, but everything else just sat in the bag, as if they were already donated.
ONE WEEK BEFORE
On the week before, I cut down on buying things and upped the cleaning. I set out the bags I needed and over the course of the few days I ate the food left in the fridge and freezer rather than buying new, and also washed everything in the laundry basket (including a few items that went into the charity bag, having sat at the bottom of the basket for weeks).
I also started planning outfits for the trip. I'm not the most sartorial person around, but I knew that weather reports seven days in advance would give me a good enough idea of how to dress for Amsterdam. With temperatures akin to that of London, layers were my best bet (and did me well in fact!) so I made sure these clothes were reserved.
I also took my big wardrobe bag (which had grown to two bags) to the local charity shop. I'm never normally picky with who I donate to, this time giving to Sense. It was a relief to give everything a way, and left me feeling the same way I do after a big haircut - with a little more bounce and less weight on my shoulders.
ONE DAY BEFORE
This was the big day. With a little coaching from Anna of The Anna Edit on how to roll my clothes in my suitcase (seriously, it saves so much space) and a nostalgic watch of You've Got Mail, I set to work. Working clockwise around the flat, I took and cleaned each item, and put it in my suitcase or a box. This worked well with bathroom items, beauty products, kitchenstuffs, and office items, but clothes were more tricky. It was just too painful to take clothes already ironed and fold them up into a box! Instead, I've left them hanging as the last thing to grab when I leave.
THE BIG DAY
Well, this is it! So far, it's actually not been that great. As I've written this our train has been delayed by two hours, so we're going to miss the connection in Brussels, and get home pretty darn late. The move may even have to be postponed until tomorrow, but thankfully the contract is signed, keys picked up, and boxes packed! It's funny how life throws curveballs at you like this, so I'm glad there is flexibility to move across the weekend - clearly, this was the most (accidentally) organised part of the whole plan!
P.S. If anyone has any snacks on this train, would they mind sharing with me...?