"Did you know the houses here are really small?"
We heard this from countless people when we started telling our family and friends that we were moving to London. In fact, we heard it so much, it became a joke between Steve and me. When something with preparations would get complicated and frustrating, one of us would break the tension by saying "Do you know how small the houses are there?" and we'd both laugh.
We knew when we started considering this move that the houses, and pretty much everything else, would be smaller than what we had in Illinois. We purged things constantly for months. We sold things on Craig's List, we gave away things to friends and family, we overloaded the garbage collectors. I think we still have too much.
Strike that. We know we have too much. And with the arrival of our shipment quickly approaching (next Monday or Tuesday), it's starting to keep me up at night.
When I stand in our kitchen, I look around and I am happy with the amount of space we have there. I'm actually comfortable with the small space and the lack of things filling it right now. I'm beginning to really appreciate the refrigerator that fits under the counter. We have six dinner plates, six salad plates, six bowls, four cups, two mugs, a set of silverware for six, a pot, a pan, a colander, and a few serving utensils. The beauty of this lack of things is that when you use it, you clean it up right away so it's ready for the next time you need it. Dirty things don't really collect on the counters. We run the dishwasher at night, which only holds the plates and cups and bowls, and wash the bigger pieces by hand. It's pretty easy and quick to get it cleaned up and put away. Don't tell Steve, but I think I'm coming over to the "less stuff/minimalism" side.
So I'm now up at night thinking about all of the kitchen things we packed up from home... and why on Earth I decided to bring them. Our plates and cups were older and discolored from years of use. The baking dishes and other cookware are probably too big to fit into our oven. The only things I really can't wait to get are the kids dishes and our mugs.
Then I start thinking about the items we had stored in our basement, like my wedding dress and our camping gear. I doubt we will have room for half of our holiday decorations. Ugh.
So next week, when the large truck manuevers its way onto our tiny road, we will be incredibly excited to see our things, to have furniture to sit on, to have our pictures of our loved ones. But it will also renew the process of shedding unnecessary things...
and making our "small" London townhouse a home.