What I learnt from living out of bags for a month with three kids



In short; we do not need so much stuff!!

We have spent the last month living out of a handful of bags, with the vast majority of our belongings still in boxes in a house in Devon whigh we are yet to live in. Reflecting on the fact we have so SO much stuff to unpack once we return home, I realised there was nothing we needed or missed whilst being away. I therefore came to the logical conclusion that we could / should burn the lot and save ourselves the task of unpacking altogether. Or perhaps a slightly less extreme option would be to take up car booting and flog everything we own for 50p a piece?! Apart from the external hard drive with a decade’s worth of digital photos charting my children’s lives, I still can’t think of anything I’m desperate to keep out of a removal van load of stuff? Our sofa? Beds? The kitchen table? Sure. But the boxes and boxes of STUFF? That shit can go.

There’s a difference between needing and missing in my mind. Needing I understand to mean we actually really need this, it’s essential so we will have to buy it if we don’t have it. Like deodorant. Or underwear. Missing is more like wanting or wishing you had something. Like a diptyque candle. Or a full length mirror. Thinking; I wish I had that little luxury. I can live without it but I can’t wait to get back to it.

All month we have not needed nor wanted anything from back home. We haven’t made a single purchase in an ‘oh crap we forgot this vitally important thing’ moment of panic. Nor can we think of anything we are desperate to be reunited with.

It’s kind of mind blowing when you think about it… How much stuff we own and don’t need!! We can’t be alone. Surely there are other parents out there who have inadvertently become materialistic hoarders or epic proportions??!

Having very recently packed up our entire lives and moved from London to Devon we are now very, very much aware of just how many possessions we have accumulated over the years. For one it didn’t all fit in our removals van. Which was a shock. We were left sat on the pavement outside our empty home sunfounded by boxes of bits and pieces looking like we’d been evicted watching the van drive off thinking; what now?! How did this happen? It seems with each child the amount of belongings we own increases tenfold.

What’s most shocking however is not the volume of possessions we have but the fact when it comes down to it (by which I mean living) we don’t need any of it! For example the kids, who lets be honest are the main offenders, haven’t even asked for any of their toys. Arlo’s been content with a bag of dinosaurs, Osh with his freedom to explore the pine forests and friends to play with and Fox with watching the world go by. And boob. Always boob. Everything at home could evaporate and we’d simply be able to carry on living as we have been, a happy, very minimalist life. Sounds quite blissful actually, doesn’t it?.

With that in mind as we drive the long drive home from France I’m plotting the cull of all culls. The mother of all clear outs if you will. I’m imagining clean empty clutter-free spaces. All white everywhere. Then I remember I’ve got 3 kids, boys no less, and I think; oh but I can still dream!!

And when really pushed, after camping, glamping and living out of a van, I must admit I am kind of looking forward to my comfy bed with its fancy pants mattress and topper. Without a doubt living the simple life makes for a good break but I suppose once home, the hoarder in me is going to struggle to be so ruthless.


One thought on “What I learnt from living out of bags for a month with three kids

  1. I enjoyed reading your very recent blog. How true! You have given me visual imaginary of a real family. Just hold on to your beautiful boys and passports.
    On a serious note, I read this brilliant book by John Naish a few years ago. Title ‘Enough- Breaking free from the world of more’.
    Naish argues for all of us to develop a sense of ‘ Enough’. For our sake and the Earth’s. Our culture he says “……….keeps telling us that we don’t yet have all we need to be happy, but in fact we need to nurture a new skill – the ability to bask in the bounties all around us.” And he explains how, through adopting the art of enoughness, we can break from this wrecking cycle.
    A very worthwhile read between caring and nurturing your babies………perhaps I’m dreaming. Maybe having it read to you?

    To every parent out there” You are doing a brilliant job”


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