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An Extended Vacation :: Life Lessons of a Fairfield County Nomad

Sometimes, life happens. You try to work with your landlord to extend your rental but he/she doesn’t agree to your request and hastily terminates your lease. What do you do? We chose to make the most of it; to accept the sign from the universe that it was time to buy a house and move on. However, we ended up with a month in between our rental ending and the closing date of our new home. What else would we do with three kids other than take a vacation?!

We secured a rental in Vermont and found a local moving company in Fairfield County that would store our things. Sure, packing up the house while separating out what I needed for vacation was an adventure in itself. But how lucky am I to have a few weeks of vacation in between packing and unpacking the whole house?! Here are a few thoughts that have crossed my mind while having all of my possessions in storage:

moving1. You guessed it….we have too much crap.

Between donations and tag sales, I got rid of SO MUCH before we moved, yet it was still horrifying to see our things occupy so much space on the moving trucks. My husband and I have already decided that we will continue to donate things as we unpack. The stuff filling up your house really starts to look a lot less essential when you are paying someone to store it! Yes, it makes me nervous to have things like baby albums in storage…those are priceless. But the boxes and boxes of board books probably need to go to donation. I can’t wait to find out what things I unpack and say, “Ugh, I completely forgot we had this!”

2. Why do I have so many clothes??? 

For someone who has only a few nice pieces and other than that just wears workout clothes every day…I have way too much stuff in my closet. I honestly cleaned out my closet TWICE before packing up, but I still felt sick as I was seeing the number of bins marked “Erika Closet.” Why am I keeping so much stuff? Why do I still have this weird attachment to clothes that I could still fit into after I had my first child? My third child is three years old! I have a totally different body type now! It’s time to move on with the wardrobe.  

3. Amazon Prime is literally all we need to exist.

Sure, we have basic cable here in the vacation place, but we are accustomed to just pulling up a pre-recorded show for the kids to watch like at home. My Amazon Fire stick solves that problem! You want Wild Kratts? We’ve got Wild Kratts. Once we really thought about it, all we were watching at the old house was pre-recorded shows. I can’t recall the last time I watched live television. Paying for cable was a waste of money for us when Amazon Fire gives us Prime movies, Netflix, Hulu and Sling. We have severed the cable cord for the new house and are going to live solely on Amazon Fire in the new house. I’ll report back in a few weeks as to whether or not it works for us!

4. I miss my knives. 

Let’s be honest, a vacation rental is pretty bare bones in the kitchen, no one is going to put quality knives in a rental kitchen. But gosh I miss my good knives that can actually cut through a tomato without butchering it. Our knives were one of our favorite wedding presents (11 years ago!) and I hated to pack them up. It’s quite likely that you will find me doing a happy dance in the kitchen when I unpack my good old trusty knives…I’ll try to remember not to dance WITH the knives.     

5. I don’t want to unpack the Legos…EVER.

We have a pretty serious Lego problem in our house (stay tuned for a future post about that) and it was pure joy for me to send them all to storage. I have been looking forward to my Lego-free month for, well, months. My 7-year old LOVES Legos and could build all day…but the 3-year old LOVES to take them apart and screams when he can’t put them back together again. And the 5-year old can’t keep a set together to save her life. Then you have some friends over to play, and the next thing you know, everything is destroyed and the Legos are all over the house. It was driving me to insanity. This few weeks of reprieve from the Lego wars has been amazing for my mental health and I am absolutely dreading unpacking them. Especially because they aren’t even organized! It’s just piles and piles and piles of loose pieces packed away! I’m getting palpitations just thinking about unpacking them.

6. Kids need more than 5 outfits in the summer.

I packed rather minimally for these few weeks and I am left doing laundry every stinking day.  Between what they are wearing for the day, the spare outfit in their camp bag, and what has ketchup stains that needs to be treated immediately…the laundry bag never has time to fill up.  It’s definitely easier at home where I can let the laundry bin fill up and only wash once a week.

7. Vacation can’t last forever.

I’m doing pretty minimal cooking on vacation…it’s mostly been grilled meats and salads. On the days that it’s just me and the kids at the rental, I’m not even cooking anything more complex than guacamole. But vacation mode can’t last forever. I love the break from cooking, but part of me is craving a more complex meal. I thought about making risotto for dinner tonight, but our tiny mountainside grocery store doesn’t sell arborio rice and the one spatula I have here is fairly terrible. Too bad. Hot dogs for dinner again!  

Overall, I feel so free without all of my “things.” Am I ready to relinquish all of my possessions to go live in a “tiny house?” Not yet. But gosh do I feel free for these few weeks without so much stuff. I am dreading going back home to unpack it all. Now that we know we can survive without all of our stuff, we might pack up and hit the open road in a camper next summer, HA!  

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