Declutter Your Life – Emigrate!

less is more

less is more, declutter, minimalise

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]k. Maybe that’s a bit extreme. But have you ever been surprised how much “stuff” you own? Minimalism is easy when you’re a couple, but add children to the mix and your “Stuff Quotient” soars. Strollers, highchairs, stair-gates and outgrown apparel populate the shadows of the basement or gather dust in the attic. With children, comes a move to a bigger place, perhaps with a garden, and suddenly you have “outdoor stuff” too – mowers, blowers, trimmers and garden furniture. There’s an urge to fill the new living space with more “stuff” that somehow represents and defines you – your beliefs, your personality, your memories.

Some are born minimalist, some achieve minimalism and some have minimalism thrust upon them… we fell into the latter category when we moved to Canada. Read the full story in my column over at Expat Focus.

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. We emigrated 24 years ago and are well past the “decluttered” stage. Now we are considering moving again, we are desperately trying to relieve ourselves of mountains of what I call “junk” but what my husband calls “we might need it one day”… !

      1. Maybe at some point, but I don’t know yet. We are also thinking about moving from the city to the country IN Jamaica… and that will require some clearing out. OR, it’s possible that we may just stay here, comfortably, with our clutter!!

  2. Couldn’t possibly agree with you. The fact that my wardrobe doors won’t slide shut has nothing to do with clutter…

    Love your header. Happy Easter!

  3. Expat life is a great minimaliser. I used to be clutter-mad but am now a minimalist-maniac. I think I’m always sub-consciously preparing for that next big ‘move’.

    By the way, pray tell me why I can no longer comment using my blog URL and have to always log on with Twitter. Is it because I don’t have a WordPress account? It’s happening on all WordPress blogs 🙁

    1. It really cements the fact that we don’t need half the stuff we cart about with us, doesn’t it! Once you live without it for a while you really don’t want it back in your life. I had a look on the wordpress support forum and didn’t see anything pertaining to the problem you mention, so I’ll drop them a message querying it. Sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

  4. Your article and the fact that I’m in the process of decluttering for a flea market inspired to write a blog post about it. I’ve linked up to your article.

  5. I’m considering moving country (again) and given that I have thrown away countless boxes worth of stuff every time I moved country before (four times so far!), I am still surprised at how much stuff can still be discarded.

    Why do we have a penchant for collecting things that we wouldn’t take with us anyway?

    1. In today’s world we seem to see our stuff as a reflection of who we are. If you see an item you admire, you acquire it in the hope that people admire you for your acquisition!

      1. or we just love stuff to make us smell nice (too many perfumes and body lotions and we get gifts) to make us pretty….lots of colors in makeup…blushers, eye shadows, liners for eys and lips, to match with our clothes) for us or for being attractive to ourselves or or partners; oh yeah jewellery : how many bracelets can we wear at once and of course we have to match: who has the time…less is better if you want to control your living space….whose to judge anyways….it’s your space , your wellness….

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