Living small doesn't mean being small.
Living small simply means (to me anyway) that you choose to live in a way that is not part of the frenzy, that you opt out of the mainstream "stuff". It can, of course, mean a lot of other things, such as a small carbon footprint, being green, living purposefully, building and living in a tiny house, living off the land, etc.
Now I will be the first one to admit that I have a lot of "stuff". Literally and figuratively. At the ripe old age of 45 I am realizing more and more that I don't want all this stuff and that it is a burden, holding me down and preventing me from doing things that I really want to do.
Stuff costs money. It costs to buy it and keep it organized. Stuff is really hard on one's mental awareness of self. For example, I had a huge garage sale at the start of summer and I cleaned out my garage...made $400 and felt like a million dollars. Just now I was sitting in my car looking at all the stuff that is now in my garage again...somehow it migrated from the house to the garage in my effort to live smaller.
I guess another garage sale is in order.
So, do you have stuff? Do you want to know what my stuff is? Here's a short list:
- Memorabilia from elementary and high school
- Clothes (mine and my children's)
- Toys (that my children don't need and have forgotten about)
- Home Decor and Decorations for the different holidays
- Furniture (to refinish in my spare time)
- Furniture, dishes, decor that belongs to other people
- Boxes of knick-knacks to sell at my flea market booth
- Kitchen gadgets, trays, coffee pots and more (from my catering days)
- Paper goods (I can't seem to let go of paper)
- Jars, bottles, old shopping bags
- Kitchen cabinets we ripped out 8 months ago
- Piles of wood and debris
The Plan To Start Living Small
Yes, I am coming up with a plan to live a little more intentionally, get out of debt and travel more. I also want to leave the midwest in the middle of winter so I don't go crazy from lack of sunlight...
I've already started getting rid of the above listed stuff. I'm having another sale, I'm planning a trunk sale with a local co-op, I'm putting more stuff in my booth, and I'm having my husband drive boxes of stuff to local charities. I found a great place out in the boonies that is called The Quarter Store...everything is 25 cents. It is to help battered women be able to afford clothes and housewares when they are starting new on their own. Unfortunately, it's about 40 minutes from my house.
Most importantly, and I'm preaching to myself, I need to stop spending money on things that don't matter. Like trips to Target because I have nothing else to do. Like flea marketing for things I don't need. (I've actually stopped this and only window shop now). Save that hard earned cash!
We're going to sell our house next. Owning a house is the American Dream, but it has never been my dream to own something old that needs lots of repairs and is a $$ sucker. After we finish all the remodeling projects we will be putting it on the market.
Buying land will come next. It's always been a dream of mine to live by water. So we are looking for property near a creek/river/lake. We plan to build a house.
Build a small house - yes, that is certainly a key to living smaller. Our current home is only 2200 square feet, it's not the largest house on the block. But we don't utilize or use it. The new plan is to build a container home (made from metal shipping containers) at under 1000 square feet. They are weather hardy, don't need a lot of support and are easy to maintain if built properly.
An example below:
While we're building we hope to live in a small camper, and possibly take a few trips to visit family.
There are many many blogs about living in RVs...my fave right now is www.haulinwiththeoats.com. Check it out!
Lastly, living small means letting go of the things that we think we need, but don't really. I don't need three coffee makers (but I have them), I don't need to rice cookers, twenty coffee cups, five hair brushes, all the craft supplies that we can possibly use in ten years, or all the shoes I've ever bought.
I want that feeling of when I stay in a hotel and I only have a suitcase of my necessities, and everything else has its place.
Some blogs that have been inspiring me to find the small inside of me:
Tiny House Talk
Little House Living
Small House Swoon
And don't forget about blogging...it is much bigger on the inside isn't it?
Do you have any thoughts on living with less and living a better quality of life? If so, I'd love hear about them.