So, I’m finally starting to settle down! I’m still looking for a nine to five job from Stockholm, but at least so far it seems promising and I have one job interview scheduled for next week. There seems to be quite many jobs here that require Finnish, my native language, so I feel pretty confident that I’ll find something. Anyway, I’ve now moved almost all of my belongings from Umeå and Helsinki to Sthlm and wanted to write down some of my thoughts about living abroad and constant moving.
So far I’ve lived in six countries: Finland, US, France, South Korea, China and now Sweden. Only in Sweden and Finland I’ve lived for a longer period of time, the rest were between four months and a year, so in most cases I lived out of a suitcase. I hate to say this, but for most of my life I’ve been a quite materialistic person and wanted to have a lot of stuff around me. Moving several times has definitely helped me to realize how little we actually need to survive.
I’ve been very lucky to have a family living next to Helsinki and I was allowed to stay as long as I wanted. The first time I moved out was at 20 when I moved to the US for a year to work as an Au Pair. Then at 23 to study in Paris for one semester. After that I received a student apartment from Espoo with 50 square meters just for my self. Of course, that 50 square meters had to be filled with stuff…
After living in the flat for a year I was accepted to a student exchange again, this time in South Korea. My sister moved into my flat for that time, but it didn’t work out well, and as I stayed in Asia for another six months I had to empty the apartment. And that was a mess. I had hoarded books I was never intended to read, I had two racks of fancy clothes and a bunch of not so fancy ones in my closets. And my favorite hobby: jigsaw puzzles took a lot of space too. As I didn’t have time to go though everything and see what I could donate or recycle, I just packed everything and it’s still haunting me.
It wasn’t until 2015 when I moved to Umeå and really decided to do something about the situation. As I would stay for at least a couple of years and Sweden being near Finland I had to opportunity to move with more than just a suitcase, however, not everything I own. It’s still a bit going on process as I have most of my puzzles and books in Finland, but slowly, I’m getting there. I now mostly own clothes that I really like and wear and I rarely buy new ones anymore.
Especially now when I’ve just moved and the only furniture I have here are my sofa, sofa table, a chair and a mirror I notice that many of our furniture are used for hiding all the stuff we own. Or at least, that’s how I feel about it. Now when all of my stuff is on the floor I can see how much there is. And the next thing on my shopping list is a dresser so I can get it out of my sight.
I read the KonMari book last summer and found it really inspiring. Especially now when my plan is to stay in Sweden and sooner or later get rid of all my stuff in Finland, I’ve found it useful to go through the things I own and get rid of the stuff I don’t really need. And to not buy anything I don’t need.Living out of a suitcase was never easy, I missed my art supplies, my photography equipment, my pillows and what not. But bringing everything to another country hasn’t been easy either. As I’m probably not going to live in this house for the rest of my life, I’ve been wondering how I’m going to deal with all my stuff when I have to move again?