Week 4: Life in boxes

Week 4… it’s been almost a full month since we started the waste less weeks. Right now we are in this weird place where minutes seem to pass like they will never end, but days just disappear. Shortly after our baby was born, we realised our home is a long way from ideal for our growing family. For starters, our front door is at the bottom of the steepest, narrowest, most uneven stone steps you have ever had to navigate. Pregnancy was fun- the stairs got harder when I could no longer see my feet. Throw in the total lack of storage (our house constantly looks like the washing machine just spits the clothes out when it’s done) and lack of space for grandparents and great grandparents to stay… we knew the time had come to leave our basement flat and move up in the world. Literally up. Street level, ideally. Almost 4 years to the day since we moved in, the ‘for sale’ board went up.

At some point we must have blinked and missed a month or two, because we’re now frantically packing up boxes and waiting for confirmation of our moving date which is meant to be ‘the end of the month’. 3 days away. While that date is looking less and less likely, all being well, it shouldn’t be long after. Moving is always difficult. Doing it with a baby, two dogs and a vow to waste less… impossible.

This is what we have learnt so far:

  • You can accumulate a lot of stuff in just 4 years.

We’ve found things neither of us even knew we had (like a jar of molasses that went out of date in 2014).

  • Paperwork is *almost* a thing of the past.

I had a huge, bulging folder of important documents. It’s the kind of folder you create and add to over many years of phone contracts, credit cards, student loans, insurance… You keep adding to it, but never remove anything ‘just in case’. When we committed to starting the waste less weeks, we were excited by the prospect of less. We’ve done a pretty good job so far of reducing what we consume and minimising the waste we produce day to day, but we haven’t tackled historic waste in our home until now. That particular folder was concealing more than a few trees worth of paper waste. After a proper look through, only three sheets of paper needed to be kept.

Rather than being disheartened by the now overflowing recycling bin, we marvelled at the progress… hardly anything had been added since we moved here in 2013. Hurray for mobile banking, online payslips and pdf insurance certificates!

  • We only wear a tiny fraction of the clothes we have.

For me, this is mostly because I’ve been hanging on to the hope that my pre baby clothes will fit again one day. How long are you meant to wait? Even when they do fit there are other things to consider… can I crawl around the soft play in those skinny jeans? Not a chance. The local charity shop now has half my wardrobe.

For Chris, its because jumpers are itchy. You’ll find him in jeans and a t shirt all year round. Occasionally paired with a grey beanie. His jumpers are now also seeking new homes.

  • Moving is wasteful, but we are trying to waste less!

Stuff needs to be cleared out, packed up, wrapped up and transported safely. All of our bins are full for the first time this year.

To pack, we’ve used boxes that my dad collected from work and every bag for life we can get our hands on. My mum came over equipped with paper to wrap up our kitchenware today. To save waste, she asked a local coffee shop for all the newspapers at the end of the day. Go, mum!

It’ll be over soon, and we’ll be in a street level, clutter-free, grandparent friendly home!

Fingers and toes crossed, please!

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