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Life changes

About three weeks ago my family and I made a very big life change. We moved from comfortable, convenient, leafy suburbia on the Kapiti Coast to a 7-acre block of land in rural Manawatu. This involved moving ourselves out of our 213 m2 4-bedroom, double-garaged home into a garage-less house of exactly half that size.

There is a very good reason for us doing this: it wasn't the plan.

The little Manawatu house was built as a holiday house, a weekend/holiday getaway. But after building the house, we realised that this plan was fundamentally flawed. That's because, once completed, it became too difficult to resist living there permanently. And so, after several months of discussions and contemplation, we made the move.

The move involved a number of challenges. But the major one probably related to stuff. Attempting to fit all the stuff we had collected over more than a decade living in spacious, storage-laden, suburban homes proved impossible, so at least a third of our stuff was sold, given away or put in the bin. This led to the realisation that when we live in large homes, we expand to fit the space, collecting stuff we don't actually need or use. As someone who prides herself as being environmentally aware, it was a salutary lesson that both myself and my family had fallen into the trap of over-consumption, just like many other New Zealanders. No better way to break that habit than to have nowhere to store stuff!

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