With a new babe on the way, it's time for chez clutterpunk to relocate. In less than two months, we will be packing up our lovely little two-bedroom flat and re-entering the Big Bad World of the Rental Property.
In truth, we've actually got it very easy. Friends have offered us a house two blocks away; an old, unrenovated house with a lots of quirks but lots of space. We know their intentions for the property and therefore know that it will be a secure space for us for 5-10 years if we want, in the local community we're already entrenched in. We're essentially 'staying put', except for our actual living space.
And unlike most rental options, we will have lots of freedom. Freedom to bang pictures into the walls, to make 'improvements', to negotiate directly with the owners, to plant vegies - freedom to put down roots.
I'm feeling a great sense of possibility, mostly to do with space. There will be:
space to sleep - perhaps with more bedroom options we will iron out some sleeping issues? (ha!)
space to eat - room for a real kitchen table, now time to teach the boys how to sit at one
space to host - a guest room for interstate-dwelling parents, families and friends
space to play - the large backyard is concreted, in true inner-city Mediterranean style, but that's perfect for boys, bikes, chalk and people who hate mowing lawn!
space to hang - with plenty of room for stringing out clothes indoors I can avoid the dryer
space to grow - I'm already planning my above-ground vegie plots, compost and worm farm...
space to create - a room in which the sewing machine and iron can be left out, works-in-progress left undisturbed, and threads, pins and scissors left in reach without ramification.
But I'm a bit apprehensive too. Our family has learned so much from living in a small space together. We've learned to say no to stuff, both by buying less and by letting things go when they are no longer necessary to us. We've learned to be unpretentious hosts, sharing meals with friends sitting on the floor around the coffee table. We've learned to coexist in and negotiate the use of shared space in the dining-living-sewing-guest-TV-playroom. We've learned greater material contentment, and just how rich we are in this world.
But I know my inner aspirational, consumerist self is still lurking under the surface. And I suspect that with the move, and the potential for more accumulation, and the desire to make a new space homely, and the pregnancy nesting syndrome starting to kick in, I've got some big challenges and temptations ahead of me. Can I hold onto sustainable ideals? Will I keep my clutter and consumerism under control? I'd better stay tuned...