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We decided to pack up everything and travel overseas for a year. Hooray! Renting an apartment makes that even easier to do – no worries about selling your house or renting it out – just get out and go. Easy right? Sure. In theory. Had we actually started doing the packing early enough…

See, we had the travel part pretty well sorted. That’s something that’s fun to do after a long day of work, because it’s distracting and exciting. Packing boxes is not. Future Us can deal with that. Future Us won’t be working full time. There’ll be plenty of time in a whole week to pack and store everything we own.

But at the point in time where our storage container was evidently not going to fit all of our STUFF (see photo), we began cursing Past Us so bad it would make a sailor blush. We really should have just sucked it up and foregone some of the travel research indulgences.

Why do we even HAVE so much STUFF?!? What even IS in that box that’s been packed for 3 years and remains unopened and shoved in a cupboard (I forgot we even HAD that cupboard).

We will claim that ‘we tried’. In a council clean up in the weeks preceding the move we did manage to dump quite a lot of unwanted gear that would have added unnecessary clutter.

We put a few bits and pieces on Gumtree and eBay for sale (or for free once desperation got the better of us!).

Ok, ok, we admit it: we didn’t try hard enough *shakes fist at Past Us*. So don’t make the same mistake we did. Here’s our advice for packing up your life to flit around the world:

1. Don’t have so much STUFF in the first place! You can’t take it with you when you’re gone. Get rid of it. Future You will thank you. After living out of a backpack each for the next 12 months, we reckon we’ll be more ruthless and discerning about the stuff we decide to surround ourselves with in the future.

2. Start early. Sort through those old cupboards well in advance. Be ruthless and work out what you want to sell or dump and then actually do it. A few items each week will make a huge difference.

3. Condense your CDs and DVDs into wallets. This was the one thing we wish we’d done generally as a space saver. If like us and just not ready to make the full switch to all-digital, getting rid of those plastic cases can save you a bunch of space on shelves that can be used for other (shudder) stuff, or help you on a quest for minimalism.

4. If all else fails (like we did), storage units can be secured very quickly. We’re sure that when we return to the tiny, emergency storage unit we had to get at the 11th hour, we’ll wonder what we were thinking (again) and dump it after all.

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