I Have Moved It, Moved It

11 June 2019


It has been two weeks since most of my physical belongings were boxed up and moved into storage. Since then I have been living out of one large suitcase and a travel backpack, couch surfing between family members, waiting for my next rental location to become available. That would have originally been the middle of June, but building delays have pushed back the current tenants move out to the first weekend of July. What had begun with plans to live out of a backpack for two weeks has turned into six weeks or longer.

Having my move in date prolonged by an extra month has given me a moment of pause. I discussed in I’ve Got to Move It, Move It how having to pack all of my physical belongings made me aware of how much I still possessed. Now, being separated from those belongings for an extended period, it has made me consider further what my priorities are and what is necessary for me to live a fulfilled life. I had already planned to go through an intense purging process when I moved in, but I think my purge may be bigger than I thought even just a few weeks ago.

It is said that it takes about 21 days to break a habit. I wonder if that is true of cutting our ties to physical things also. When one is forced to live off of just the essentials, or with what they can carry on their backs, maybe the desire for non-essentials weakens. Maybe it is like a detox to the system, giving the mind and soul a little space to breathe, reflect, and prioritize.

Now don’t get me wrong, I miss having a place to call my own, my own room, and a kitchen with my own stuff (even if I am renting it). I miss my jars of bulk bin items and organized pantry. I long for the cupboards not crammed so full that opening the doors causes an avalanche upon the opener. I dream of having my clothes beautifully organized and hanging in a closet. And I definitely desire the comfort of my bed again. Living out of my backpack has not made me reconsider having a place to call my own and the classic comforts of home. Quite the opposite, I long for that more now than ever. Living out of a backpack has made me reconsider how much more I need beyond those basic, lovely, simple comforts --- a kitchen to cook in, a warm bed of my own to sleep in, a roof over my head, and maybe somewhere to put my laptop (though for now it has been doing just fine on my lap. It is a “lap”top after all).

Have you ever had to live out of a backpack, or away from most of your belongings, for an extended period of time? If you have, did it make you look at your physical belongings differently? If you haven’t, do you think you ever could? Talk to me in the comments below.