Getting Rid of Stuff

Getting Rid of Stuff

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We have only 10 days left before moving out of our home of 3 1/2 years!

As I have been sorting through our things over the past week, my head has been filled with thoughts about the stuff in our lives.

Most people probably would have taken more time to go through their belongings than I have. It was only last week that I started the process of downsizing 1800 sq ft of things to move into Lucille’s < 400 sq ft. In many ways, I am the type of person who does best under pressure and tight deadlines, so starting two months ago would not have been my style.

Since Matt and I are choosing not to store many things, most everything we own has to go. It’s hard to believe how much STUFF you accumulate. It is often in the places you don’t even see — a junk drawer, closet, bin, etc. I keep coming across stuff I didn’t even know we had…in places I had forgotten existed!

This isn’t the first time Matt and I have had to get rid of most of our stuff. Matt’s was when he moved overseas, and mine was when I moved from a duplex to a tiny apartment. This time around, I am approaching the purge with a different outlook.

Over the past few months, I have been thinking about the space in my life and where we spend most of our time. We originally moved into our house to have more room, but it wasn’t until recently, we realized we had only been using a fraction of the footage. In addition to the excess space, our house was FILLED with stuff we never used. It was all there…the space and the things…just existing around me. I came to the realization that I don’t need any of it.

It is somewhat surreal that we are this close to starting our so-called new lifestyle. A life full of less things, but hopefully more experiences in their place. I believe that while there will be some everyday things that stay the same, life as we know it will be different in many ways. We will still work and eat and lay our heads down in the same bed every night. But it’s the routine everyday surroundings that will change. There will always be new places to shop, eat and play, neighbors to meet, and an ever-changing backyard. I am looking forward to our new sense of normal.

I want the joy in my life to come from people and my surroundings, not from the things that surround me.

I read the following quote in an article called “A New Memoir About What Happens When You Get Rid of All Your Stuff”:

“Does this thing add value to my life? I learned that once you gain momentum, once you feel the benefits of removing the clutter from your life, embracing minimalism gets easier by the day.”

The article, written by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of TheMinimalists.com, goes into interesting details about living with less. If you have any desire to remove “things” from your life, I highly recommend reading it.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be sharing specific tips and tricks we used to downsize for full-time rv living. But for now, I will just leave you with these musings.

-Kate

 

 

22 Comments on “Getting Rid of Stuff

  1. I’ve heard of the quote, “does this add value to your life?” before and I constantly remind myself that when I need to do a purge. It’s amazing how much stuff we really do accumulate – almost unbelievable. I’ll be interested to hear about your tricks for downsizing – and what things “added value” to your life and the things that don’t! It’s always interesting to hear what people can and can’t live without!

  2. I have done the “purge” many times myself. In today’s terms I would have a terrible time with two things: The garage and its contents (tools, bikes, etc.) and my book collection. Those would be hard for me to get rid of. Everything else however is completely “meh”. That one of the main reasons that we live in a small (1200 sq. ft.) house though. It makes you be mindful of junk. The issue, to put it into terms that highlight the gravity of the situation…my shop is also 1200 square feet!

    • Kiley, I think you hit the nail on the head. You can fill meh about most of your things, but you know what you’re passionate about. I would never think your shop is just filled with stuff to take up space – I think it’s a place that brings you joy! :)

  3. Thanks Kate, I’m working on cleaning out too. I needed that article from the minimalists. I just had everything taken out of the laundry room which has large shelves to clean up and paint. Now I love those empty shelves so much I don’t want to put the stuff back. I’m going to use the “Does this thing add value to my life?” technique to help me get rid of stuff.

  4. This was awesome, I need to do that, keep me posted! Lol, Margie Harris

  5. I honestly believe we become SO adept at self-soothing, that we don’t even realize it! Whether that is through food, alcohol, or BUYING STUFF…the end result is the same. We do it to fill holes in our hearts. But you guys, you are so cool! You are chucking it all, and going to learn a new way of life, and I admire and envy you! :)

    • I agree Gwen! I really like the detail that The Minimalists go into in their article: “But I don’t just ask this question about material possessions. Stuff was just the start. I ask it too in regard to relationships, Internet consumption, food, and more.”

      As always, thank you for your encouragement! :)

  6. Having just done this I can relate. Finding things you fogot about, or didn’t even know you had! So bizzare to think we’ve been conditioned to believe owning all of it made us better in some way. In the end, all we did was pay for heated storage of “stuff” Looking forward to the outcome of your purge!

    • I do think that finding stuff you had forgotten about is the weirdest part of going through things! We are just down to the nitty gritty, so close!

  7. You need Brandon to help you! He would throw/give everything away if I let him… Sometimes I’m surprised we’ve made the cut :).

  8. I just discovered your blog and I just love it! I am excited to follow your adventures and live vicariously through you. While living in an RV won’t mesh with our current lifestyle, it is something we’d love to do for an extended amount of time down the road.

  9. I feel your pain. It took me a year to purge the house of “stuff” so we could live full-time in our motorhome. So glad we did and we miss none of the “stuff” that we used to have. Happy travels.

    • It is a pain, but I am happy to say we are 99.9% done and will be pulling out of our driveway this afternoon. Can’t wait!

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