Magazine article Management Today

Minimalist on the Move

Magazine article Management Today

Minimalist on the Move

Article excerpt

The house-moving ritual is a time-honoured fixture of the English Season. It traditionally takes place on a Friday, before the school summer holidays start. In and around the Thames basin, every other street is blocked by Mr Pickford and his pantechnicon.

They say that moving house is the third most stressful thing after bereavement and divorce, which is why we do it only once every seven years on average. 'Before you move,' confided one newly relocated friend, 'enquire if The Priory has a special section for house-movers. It's as stressful as coming off a Class A drug.' Another friend told me that, just as the final cost of moving house is double the estimate, so the stress of it is four times what you expect.

Which of course is rubbish. These people should go out more. My house-moving was a doddle. Cardboard-box phobia and tea chest anxiety? Where's our sense of reality? The English are too sensitive about their possessions. I've just visited Japan, where the people think nothing of doing their bit for the domestic white-goods economy by trashing everything they've got on a yearly basis. But in England we horde things covetously like an agoraphobic pharaoh. A shop assistant at Heals told me I'd be amazed at the number of couples who have blazing rows over which sofa and bed to buy. 'One couple even began divorce proceedings in soft furnishings,' she says.

People should view moving house positively. You tell yourself you're kissing your biggest possession goodbye in order to buy into an even bigger biggest possession, so why not seize the chance to redefine your relationships with your lesser possessions? Or ask yourself: 'Were I to cease to exist, which of my possessions would be thrown away instantly by my heirs?' Probably 95%. We're just a terrible waste of space and misplaced sentimental attachments. I'm pathetically attached to a load of personal heritage lumber that any sane person would consider rubbish.

This point has not so much been brought home to me as moved house with me. The removal chaps did a terrific job. Arriving at Home Sweet Home II, I picked up the first package I saw, lovingly wrapped in two-ply tissue paper. …

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