Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Embracing Minimalism

Only 2 more days until we leave on our full-time RV adventure! Part of downsizing from a 2400 sq ft home to a 400 sq ft 5th wheel is embracing minimalism! How did we get to a point that we could truly embrace minimalism in order to move onto the next stage of our life? It has been a bit of a journey. Moving across the country multiple times we always tried to purge before our moves but it wasn't until I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I really started embracing minimalism. The book outlines a strategic way to declutter your home and get rid of stuff you don't need. One key question she has you ask as you go through items is, "does this bring me joy?" That was a big change for me. I read this book about 4 years ago. I started going through things asking myself, "does this bring me joy"? It was a huge mind shift.

I had spent my entire adult life accumulating things. Always thinking we needed a bigger house, a bigger yard, nicer furniture, but you know what those things did not bring me happiness. I am even going to go out on a limb and say if you look deep inside yourself those things don't bring you true happiness either. Sure, having nice things is nice but beyond your basic needs being met having more things doesn't necessarily bring you happiness. I like nice things but honestly having a big house payment is stressful. Having a big house to clean and maintain is stressful. The most stressful and time consuming for us was having a big yard. We spent our entire lives wishing we had a big yard for the kids to play in but having had 1/4 acre lot the last 2.5 years it is so much work to keep up with the weeds, lanscaping, mowing, watering, and planting. 

In order to fit 5 people into 400 sq ft we had to get rid of almost everything. I am not going to lie it was hard! Furniture I didn't care about. We like getting things for a bargain and Facebook marketplace (and previously Craigslist) is the way to find nice stuff, at a good price. When we settle down somewhere next we will just buy furniture 2nd hand. Sentimental stuff was hard for me to let go. We sent several boxes of pictures with friends. Pictures, projects, and things the kids made we took pictures of that we will keep forever as digital photos. Hobby stuff was hard to get rid of too but when I thought long and hard most of it had been accumulated but rarely touched.

Nate and I both really enjoy travel. We enjoy meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing new cultures. We would rather spend money on experiences rather than stuff. We love being outdoors and things like hiking, camping, and being out in nature. Having less stuff, will allow us to explore without being tied down to a mortgage, a place to come back to, or a house to maintain. It will also allow us to spend extended time with our loved ones, both family and close friends.

A huge added bonus is I have sold a lot of our stuff on Facebook marketplace and while I haven't kept exact track of every dollar made I think we've made close to $2500. Not bad for old stuff, mostly not getting used. This also ties into our Dave Ramsey journey towards debt freedom. We were debt free except our mortgage as of June 2016 and once our house closes we will be completely debt free!

We are so excited for this next chapter of our lives and the opportunity to live a life of freedom and adventure. I hope to post regularly on my blog so subscribe and follow along!

I also will be posting on my blog Facebook page and Instagram.

My life the last 5 months!

If you liked this post, check out my posts:

Our Journey To Debt Freedom Part 1 and Part 2

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