Packing for two different seasons in a month with a toddler

Packing for this trip was stressful. Repacking for this trip the day before we left from Melbourne to Tokyo was even more stressful. There were things we needed, things we left behind, gifts for Kaia, necessities we both bought that we wanted to bring back. Then, as Chris’s parents reminded us, there was a slow but sure accumulation of gifts that people had given us over the last 10+ years that have been taking up valuable space in their closets that they wondered if we would cart them back. The majority of the things we just had no space for in our luggage, which was why we never took them back. And to be frank, I wonder if a lot of these items were re-gifted because they seemed completely impractical or silly to take from Australia to the U.S. with our limited luggage space. For example, why would someone gift us a massive salad mixing bowl with salad serving bowls with tongs? Or a tea pot that was not particularly interesting, but was meant to serve six people? Do they think these things don’t exist in the U.S. or that we have unlimited luggage space?

Anyway, the bigger household/kitchen items we ended up creating a pile with for Chris’s brother, who is still in the process of furnishing his new home and kitchen. I figured it would be an easy way for him to get his place set up and save money, and we could help empty out the closet space at their parents’ house. But then what I also did, which I wasn’t anticipating, was keep a few of my summer items at his parents’ place, like sandals, and either keep them there or have them bring them on their spring trip to visit us. They’ve even set aside a drawer for all of Kaia’s things, which has already been filled up with clothes that have been purchased/gifted and are sized up, toys and stuffed animals, and other things for her.

It’s amazing how quickly “stuff” accumulates, and scary. Every time I come back here or to my parents’ house, I just feel a stronger need when I go home to start culling even more things.

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