Have you ever had that feeling of being weighed down by all your stuff? Of being burdened by the past?
Yeah? Me too!
I’ve moved around a few times since leaving home when I was 18, and I seem to keep hauling my ever-growing pile of belongings with me everywhere I go. One time was from the West coast to the East coast and back again. It’s exhausting packing boxes and carrying them in and out of U-haul vans and to apartment after apartment.
Why do we hold on to the things that we do. Sentimental value? A way of coping with hard times? We don’t want forget that “one time”? We want to remember how that special person made us feel? Or are we just flat-out pack rats? Do the things we have really have value to us? Are we holding onto items because we think we should?
I’ve been thinking about these questions for a while now. And, especially, after I made the decision to move the Fort Collins. I am realizing, more and more, that I don’t need things around as a way to feel happy.
So, I have started exploring a transition to a more minimalist lifestyle.
My efforts to live more simply have really been set into motion with the move to Fort Collins, but it all started with reading about the tiny house movement. I kept seeing tiny houses on Pinterest, and I thought (still do!) they were so neat! A tiny house on wheels that I could haul behind my car or truck. I could live anywhere I wanted and have a house; not a trailer or camper, but something that actually resembles a house!
Talk about speaking to my wanderlust heart – I could go anywhere at anytime and still feel like I have a home!
My tiny house build won’t be happening for a few more years, but downsizing now will make the transition easier down the road. Plus, I don’t need, nor do I want, to take my entire apartment to Fort Collins.
So, if I am eventually going to build a tiny house on wheels I have to downsize my 600 square foot apartment to things that would fit in a 200 square foot, or less, tiny house on wheels. Or for the time being, a 120 square foot bedroom in Fort Collins. That seems like a daunting task, right? I have to decide what is essential and what has enough value to keep in a much smaller space than I already live in.
And, while I won’t be building my tiny house any time soon; the tiny house movement has got me thinking what do I really need to live comfortably? To be happy? To be content? How much, or rather how much less, can I actually live without? What do I really need with me to travel the world?
And, the truth is, I really just need the basics…a few items of my favorite clothing, tooth-brush, tooth paste, some soap and shampoo, some good walking shoes, a backpack, my camera, and a coffee mug, and my laptop to write about my travels. Oh, and my cat, Delilah. I can’t forget her! She is my favorite.
I don’t need my 47 inch flat screen TV, or the 10 million books on my shelf, or the countless DVD’s that I don’t ever watch, or the closet full of clothes that I haven’t worn in over two, or more, years. And countless other things!
So, I am purging.
I refuse to haul all my stuff two states away so it can sit in my aunt’s house and collect more dust than it already has. It has been a pretty freeing experience, so far, going through my things and deciding what is important enough to put in storage (for my tiny house), what I actually need, and what I can live without.
Plus, my purging will allow me to travel more. I will have extra money that I can put into savings. I won’t have a million boxes just sitting in storage; just the really important thing that I want to hold on to and use when I have my own tiny house.
It’s basically been spring cleaning on steroids for the last month.
I feel lighter already.
So, ask yourself…are you holding onto things because they are essential, important, have [sentimental] value, and are useful, or because you can’t let go of the past?
And make room for the future!