LIFE | Introducing the Great Unpack + Great Purge

Hello my lovelies … and how does life go with you? Today is an oversharing day. The Great Unpack is underway and to save my sanity I must write about it. Plus make a video too, of course. The Great Unpack is the forerunner to the Great Purge.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

How Does This Happen … you might ask

It’s like a perfect storm scenario. Let me set the scene …. In 2018 we pack up the New Zealand house we live in because we are coming back to live in Australia. I have flights booked, one way. Then I get a job opportunity, one that let’s us live at the cold beach, in our holiday bach. Oh my goodness, a year by the beach, my cold beach, sounds like a dream. We said yes.

our place at the cold beach

Dream Ends

We pack all the moving boxes, already packed, into the garage and stay in New Zealand another 12 months. Then we pack up the beach house and I bring the boyos back to Brisbane, with one suitcase each. Plus I bring 26kgs of extra weight with me, on me. Ugh.

The Mr takes another wee while, much more than anticipated, to do the long list of maintenance on the beach house, then sells the house back to the daughter of the original owner … awww. The Mr comes to Brisbane for Christmas and then plans to head back to New Zealand in February to pack everything from the storage container into an international shipping container. BUT, just as we are about to book his ticket along comes a world wide pandemic. FFS, eye roll.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Enter Stage Right … COVID19

So now no one is going anywhere. I get this. I support this. New Zealand is in a seven week lock down. Then we are into five weeks of lockdown. There are no ships, there are no flights. We wait for clearance for the Mr to go over. It’s now August 2020 and I think just forget it. But no, the Mr organises a friend and his brother to supervise some day labour and the repack is done.


Nec minute is north island kiwi … Next minute the container arrives, actually 18 months after I had left. Let that resonate …18 months have passed, I have lost 26kgs, each boy has grown 30cm and I have equipped us to live with a lot of empty space, second hand buys, curb side finds and a good few shops at Kmart and Target. I literally need nothing from the 40 foot shipping container, and in fact want only two things. My photo albums and my green resin bowl that I love and adore.

Me now
Le before
Me Before

The Great Unpack

So we dump 40 foot of packing boxes in our rental house. It happens to be empty and is a cheaper option than storage. Now we must unpack. Welcome to the Great Unpack. Except no one unpacks anything for three months. It’s overwhelm at it’s best/worst.

The Great Purge

Have you seen that rather lame movie, The Purge? Once a year, for 24 hours, you can go round legally killing the people you want to purge from your life. Sounds like a plan. So instead of killing people I am killing off possessions.

Photo by Brett Jordan on

Since 2000 we have had the reality of running two households. Usually because I go away to work and the Mr stays put. So for the first time in 21 years I do not need two kettles, six saucepans, 20 towels and ten sheet sets. I need and want 8 towels, three saucepans and one kettle. But I have three kettles, the two that came from New Zealand and the one I bought here while waiting for our stuff to arrive. I have enough linen to run a rather active brothel. I have so many towels I could be a hotel. This stuff must go.

Photo by Madison Inouye on

Move On

I have a new dynamic in my head that possessions sap my energy. In some way the things we own take ownership of you. Things need to be stored, sorted, maintained, looked after, used and cared for. I am out of band width and have no space nor desire to care for all these things. I am reducing, recycling, donating and ditching. On occasion, I am even selling. Find me on Poshmark, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on

White Space

When I design marketing collateral I am very aware of creating white space. You know, blank, empty spaces so the other parts have room to breath and space to impact. I want that now in my home, in my life. When I took up keto, I eliminated carbs. That worked well. I am on a mission to eliminate, create space and denude myself of possessions. Not all possessions. But a darn sight less than what I currently have. I aspire to white space. In my home, in my head, in my life.

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on

Sparks Joy

About two years ago I read the Marie Kondo book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and since then I have used the KonMari folding methods. I love it. But the whole sparks joy thing, I got it but it’s not me. So, while I don’t hold with the belief that every single possession must bring me joy, I do believe that overall all less is more. And less is best. And in the end less will leave room for joy. And flowers.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

What is Next

I have told the Mr that by July 1 I will have all boxes unpacked, sorted, and be well on the way to decluttering our life. He is with me. Our 16 year old son is with me. Our 18 year old son said no. He wants ALL his stuff. I truly doubt this. He is a work in progress. Maybe you are a work in progress too?

Until next time, enjoy your pathway and the journey you have chosen, Le xox

Ps if you missed my first take on this, it’s here.

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