After living in a tiny horse truck for the past six months, when we returned home to our huge warehouse shed stocked full of our belongings, David and I experienced a bit of a culture shock. Why do we own all this stuff? Is it useful? As we asked ourselves these questions, we realised that we need to get our belongings in order so that we could properly use the shed as a base camp for our travels around Australia.

Our main task has been to move all David’s work-related tools and paraphernalia to the top mezzanine floor. This leaves room for us to establish proper living and utilitarian zones.

Aisha helping David organise the shelves in the shed, September 2011
Self-motivated — and without chores imposed upon them — our girls have demonstrated eagerness to contribute to whatever tasks we are involved in. Aisha loved lifting and sorting through tins of paint with David.

Yes, we’ve been living without electricity while on the road, but it’s nice to have a base camp where we can plug in some appliances. We’ve got a fridge and some electrical kitchen appliances (like the toaster!) that we can use in the shed although we forgo such items while travelling.

We find that our new style of simply living around the girls and enjoying their presence means that they also seek us out and want to be alongside us as we get things done. We’ve been astounded at how productive little girls can be in cleaning, sorting and stacking items — hardly stopping their movements despite being able to keep up a constant stream of chatter!

It’s a joy to get things done as a family, and we’re content in the present — knowing that when everything’s in it’s place (when everything has a place!), we’ll be free to travel again. Then we can also enjoy returning to our base camp without facing a mammoth cleaning or organising task each time!