April 19, 2022
I’ve been on my minimalism journey for about 7 years now. I stumbled upon it by pure accident. I have a severe dust allergy and struggled managing it. I was on so many medications that just made me feel awful and we spent so much time cleaning or moving things around and money on storage.
At the time, we had a family of 4 (a teenager and a toddler plus my husband and I) living in 1200 square feet. I searched on either Google or Pinterest for decorating ideas that require little cleaning and the word minimalism kept popping up. I followed that down the rabbit hole, discovering videos, articles and books and got very excited–and then very discouraged.
As a military brat and veteran, moving was a part of life, so we already had the habit of getting rid of things we didn’t use. But we used a lot of things, or had good intentions for a lot of things. I bet you can relate to that? We also live in Florida, so there’s a lot of outdoor activities, plus gear for hurricanes and disasters. We kept a month supply of non-perishables on hand at all times. Needless to stay, we had stacks that were forever being shifted.
I figured I’d start with the obvious stuff and emptied our storage unit, either ditching it or finding a place for it. Then I cleared old hobbies and Knick knacks.
And then I was introduced to Marie Kondo and her concept of Joy. I attacked my closet with such a vengeance. I’ve never been a big shopper or fashionista, but I had a lot in my half of the closet and a full dresser to myself. I cleared 6 large bags of clothes that didn’t bring me Joy–a lesson I learned wasn’t a good guide for summer cleaning of winter clothes, so a word of warning!
I continued my journey, eventually inspiring my kids and husband to join in, especially when we had to move to make room for a parent that needed to live with us. But she even joined the journey, so our twice as big house had half as much stuff from prior homes. It was refreshing.
Last year, we decided that, after a parent and college graduate moving out, we didn’t need a big home anymore and would follow our dream of full-time RV life. So we started the process. We found a rig, then figured out a plan for dad since he’d stay on his own. We began selling and donating with a renewed passion and reduced down to what fit into the rig and one storage closet at a family member’s house (and our home base). What we kept were either family heirlooms and keepsakes, or kitchen gadgets we knew we’d want whenever we had a house again, as well as off season stuff.
Sounds great, right?
We’ve been at this two months and it’s gone mostly well. Mostly.
The prepper in me struggles, and my husband and youngest son seem to have the same struggle. We have stuff with us we may need. I managed to stock a month of groceries in our rig’s kitchen. It fits, but it’s extra weight. I’ll be honest–I am a master packer that is personally responsible for a moving company changing it’s policy on moving quotes because I had way more stuff than they assessed under their old policy. I’m that person.
We are out for a couple weeks now, but will return to home base for a 3 week stretch for some appointments.
Until then, I am not grocery shopping except for perishables and staples we use often until we clear the pantry. I am also making a mental note of what we use and don’t use.
When we get to home base, we will regroup and try again. Some things that we have stored, we don’t need to store for 3+ years when we settle into a house again, even if they don’t take up much space.
Photo albums and mementos can get sorted and paired down–do I really need all those pictures of people and places I don’t remember, or 5 shots of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower? Probably not. And I want to have a small enough collection I can bring the albums with me as we travel for when I miss them.
I know I don’t need to keep 3 different size portable tables and 7 different types of seating in the camper for the 3 of us.
Minimalism is a journey that is ongoing as life changes. It is also tackling mindsets from how we were raised or have always lived and changing those.
So pray for me as I embark on this next chapter.
And if you need to clear out things that the old you doesn’t need to hold onto, then join me in your journey. Comment and message me of what you find.
Share pictures on social media with me of what you clear out. I’ll be posting there, too.
We’ll get through the piles and make room for new memories and adventures!
We’ve got this.
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