I close my eyes tightly and try to visualize the journey ahead–after all how does one pack for an adventure?  In just two months my family of six will be packing out of Las Vegas and making Aliyah to join Neve Chabad.

I am walking from room to room sorting through what seems like a lifetime full of stuff.  The more I look through our things, the more I realize most of it is just weighing us down.

Part of me wants to schelp every little momento– every piece of art, every kitchen item– that we own.  I want our new home to feel like our current home. Part of me wants to throw it all away – declutter, simplify and cleanse.

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not our stuff that makes us feel like home, it’s deeper than that.  

When I have all six of us hanging out on the couch I realize THIS is all I need in the world.  EVERYTHING I need fits on this couch.

Our family has a core, a life – a place we call home.  While trying create a cozy home space to express that core, we end up accumulating more and more stuff.  I think about past trips to Home Goods looking at a cute frame with a quote written on it thinking, “Yes, that will be just the thing to make my home feel cottage farmhouse chic.”  It’s easy to fill a house and make it look like a place to make memories in –but do you stop to make those memories?

This vision of simplifying our lives – to schlep less, to accumulate less, and to only hold on to those things that actually express our home and our core– will create a space for more.  More memories. More hugs. More creativity. More inspiration. More giving.

Shavuos is quickly approaching.  We learn every year that one of the main accomplishments of Matan Torah was the infusion of the spiritual into the physical.  In Judaism we do Mitzvos with physical items, light physical shabbos candles and make kiddush on physical wine. So our stuff is important, it just can’t take on too much weight.  It should instead reflect our light within.

The weight of stuff shouldn’t be holding us back.

As I pack I interview each item as if to say, “What do you have to offer?  What do you contribute to our goal? Are you part of our journey or just dead weight?”

Have you ever Googled the top 10 things to bring with you on Aliyah?  I see a running theme of people bringing American comforts or things in general that remind them of the home they are leaving behind.  I guess my top 10 will be a little different…. Because I am not leaving home, I am going home.