The weekend before our big move, I went over to our new apartment to supervise its repainting. I spent some time wandering around, taking pictures, unable to believe that I now partially owned this little slice of Amsterdam. I gave myself a moment to simply enjoy the thrill of a new beginning, and to savor how clean and bright it all was, like a blank canvas.
I knew once we moved in with all our stuff, chaos would take over and it would never look this pristine and empty ever again. And I was right!
On moving day, I felt more than a little sentimental to leave the place that had been our home for the first two years of this European adventure. Lots of memories here… like the time we painted our bedroom blue, rental contract be damned.
Seeing the movers hauling everything out the window and down a diesel-fueled lift still gives me a huge kick. This is how just three (large) men can do an entire move in less than three hours; back home it would be an army of skinny cargadors busting their guts.
The window was also the mode of entry for our new place.
Our biggest challenge was how to fit all our things into a space 10 square meters smaller than what we were used to. With just one-fifth of the storage space we used to have, Marlon and I were forced to de-clutter… big time.
We ended up disposing of four large pieces of furniture (two sofa beds, our old bed and an armchair), three bags of (mostly warm-weather) clothes, and a whopping FIFTEEN garbage bags of stuff. Just… stuff. I don’t even know where it came from or why we were hanging on to it! Stuff has a habit of just creeping up on you and clinging for dear life, doesn’t it? It feels so good to let go; I should force myself to do it more often.
Even with our ruthless de-cluttering, our new place filled up with stuff pretty quickly.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t found moving stressful. What stressed me out was being confronted with how much stuff we actually have. I could hardly imagine how this, for example, would somehow be transformed into my daughter’s room.
Somehow, in the midst of the chaos, Marlon and I cleared a place to sleep, cuddle, and be thankful for our new home. This is how we spent our first night…
… and this is what we woke up to the next day. The first snowfall of the year, on our first morning in our first home. That’s a lot of firsts!
Watching the snow cover the city like a clean, soft blanket was just magical. All the chaos faded away and the whole world seemed fresh, new, bright with promise. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to this brand new chapter.