Giving Things Away Makes Room for the New
This week, we have a guest blog from the wonderful Fiona Campbell. I met Fiona recently at a networking event and she discussed how she had downsized several times over the years and her experience of letting go of her things. Her experience was so wonderful and inspiring that I asked her to share it with you. So here is Fiona’s decluttering and downsizing story:
In 2010 I was given 6 weeks’ notice for my husband and I to leave the beautiful Georgian Farmhouse we had called home for the past 15 years. We had been renting half of this amazing property and had been told by the farmer who owned it, that none of his family wanted to stay there and we could rent for as long as we wanted.
It was very neglected when we arrived and over the years we put in a new kitchen, bathroom and turned the huge garden into a beautiful Warwickshire country paradise. When we sold our house in Glasgow we were able to fit all the furniture from there into the farmhouse.
We finally had the beautiful home I had always dreamt about.
We had made it so special the farmer and his family decided that they wanted it back. The timing of being told to leave could not have been worse. Three weeks before my husband had to close his business due to the financial crisis. He was offered a job in India and we agreed it was the best decision for him to move to Mumbai and I visit him. Two weeks after he left my father passed away. In the space of three weeks I lost my Dad, my Husband and now my home.
I was devastated because it was as if my whole world had collapsed. How was I going to move a four-bedroom house, to somewhere smaller all on my own?!
After a few days in shock I decided that everything is the house was only stuff and far too much stuff at that.
With everything that had happened, I had no energy to deal with trying sell stuff so I decided to give everything away and only keep the bare minimum of what I needed and a few beautiful pieces of art that we owned.
My lovely friend Lucy helped me and we started looking for people to give things to. There was one young girl who had been abused by her boyfriend and had ended up being rehoused with only the clothes she was wearing. It was wonderful being able to completely furnish her new flat. In fact, we ended up being able to help three more young people get set up in their new homes. One girl had been sleeping on a couch for two years and told me the first night she slept in the bed, we gave her, she felt like a princess.
I moved to a small house and felt a sense of relief that my ‘stuff ‘had helped make people happy. Two years later we were preparing to move to Dubai and by now we had added to our art collection from the time in India.
This time I decided that the only thing we would bring with us were a few clothes and our art (only a few paintings and some beautiful objects) With the help of Ikea we soon had another beautiful home in Dubai.
The lesson I learned is that we make beautiful homes with our energy and love, not with amount of ‘stuff’ we hang on to.
By keeping only our special pieces, I now create lovely homes wherever we are and love the freedom of knowing that each time I give things away new beginning start.
Fiona is the an NLP Business Coach Trainer at Tree Yellow based in Dubai.