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What do we do about our house?

After seeing what our landlord-friends have been through with their property across the road from us, I was extremely hesitant about letting our family home while we are on our NZ tour. Do we rent it furnished or empty? How do we store our possessions if the later? What is the market rate? Who would look after it?

What would it take to finish all the major and minor renovations? One of which was tending to the garage, that still has lead-based paint to strip off it. After a quick discussion with Atlas I have learnt that the boards are too brittle and would be a fire hazard if they were to encounter a heat gun, so what to do?

Enter epiphany number 1. As the garage footprint is a small one, we wouldn't be able to replace it with a modern day shed, which incidentally come in 3 common sizes of 'small car', 'medium car' and 'large car'. Ours obviously was erected in the day of tiny cars – no wonder it quickly transitioned from a place we stored our vehicle to a general storage area. So we don't really need to re-build a place for a car. What we do need is a place for storage. The concrete pad is just the right size for a 20 foot hi-cube shipping container, and would take care of the current need for temporary storage of the items we have to sell; and then the longer-term storage requirements whether or not we rent our home furnished or not, there would still be personal things we'd want to lock away.

Once upon a time I wouldn't have entertained having a shipping container on site as they are so, how do you say...industrial. Gaining favour in the construction of domestic and commercial architecture I now am fascinated by their potential! If we weren't touring I would want to find a piece of land and be tempted to build a container house – not just the functional kind but something kind of quirky.

Alternatively we could replace the 2x4 structure and construct an eco-shed out of bottle bricks or the like.

As for the other questions, I still like the idea of renting the place furnished to some degree. I am a bit hesitant to have other people sleeping on our mattresses, but I guess that is what protectors are for. Insurance is supposedly higher on renting out a furnished property, so we will have to weigh up whether it is worth it. Though as I keep pressing on with the plans for our location independent tour I am less possessed by our possessions and feel more blasé about the inanimate objects we may leave behind. I am looking forward to the children having less to clean up, there being less house work to do, less stuff that needs to be maintained....enforced simplicity if you will.

What I can not predict is how the children will adjust to the change. Years ago when we made the decision to trial a tv-free environment, it was 2-3 weeks before I no longer heard 'I'm bored' and the children were more settled. This time we will be leaving behind much of what I would term good, solid educational materials; but am hoping that life on the road will bring opportunities for each child to discover, learn and entertain themselves in ways unfathomable.