Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Story: A Minimalist Adventure



While it's true that I've been seriously paring down my things over the last few weeks, one thing you might not know is that I've gone through this before. It all started in the fall of 2012 when I decided I would pack up my life and move across the country to be near the man I loved (who is now my husband). I was living in Missouri and he was in West Virginia at the time. The opportunity arose to work from home, so my office could follow me virtually anywhere! I'd been living on my own for quite awhile at that point and had a whole house full of things. I was motivated by the chance to find happiness to let go of everything I could to fund the move. So, I sold some furniture. I gave away my very favorite sectional couch (that was the biggest sacrifice...I loved that thing). I held a garage sale selling nearly everything I owned. Keepsakes and furniture I thought I could use in the future went into the smallest storage unit I could find and the rest was donated.



My car selfie on the day I moved to West Virginia...
My beloved couch that I gave away (*tear*).
Then, I packed everything I could in my little Saturn Aura and set off to be near the love of my life. By packed car, I mean I couldn't see anything out the back window and barely figured out a place to put my purse! However, those things would be almost the only things I would live on for several months! I arrived in West Virginia and found a cute, retro apartment near downtown (which was a dream) and unloaded all of my things into my apartment. It felt HUGE! I didn't have a bed, so I purchased a cheap air mattress (which I slept on for several months before getting an actual bed). I didn't have any pots or pans, so I purchased a cheap pan and pot combo from Target. I sat on the bare floor to watch TV (which I made sure fit in my car for the move). In fact, I sat on the floor for a lot of things. Eventually D would bring me a chair or a small table so that I wasn't rolling around on the carpet all day.

My mom came to visit me about 3 months after I moved. That time with her may be one of our favorite memories because I acquired a second air mattress for her to sleep on. Then we eventually learned how to stack the air mattresses on top of each other to make a makeshift couch so we could watch television up off the floor. It was certainly an adventure. I had less than I'd ever had in things, but more than I'd ever had in joy and satisfaction with life.

Two years later, D and I had gotten engaged and then married. He moved in to the apartment with me and so did his things along with all the other items that I had acquired over that time and, before you know it, the apartment that once felt huge was cramped and full to capacity. When we packed up to move to Tennessee, we had an entire Uhaul truck full of stuff even after gifting my very loved Papisan Chair (how is it that I always have to let go of my favorite furniture?!) and a rickety, old couch I got at a second hand store to a couple of neighbors in the building. Every space since has felt very small and we have not stopped moving things around to make room for other things until recently!

Now, considering both D and I are at a point where we feel like we're living with one foot raised to step into our next adventure, I feel like paring down will make that step when we're finally able to take it a lot easier. I want to get to a point where it would only take a short time to gather up everything we own and go to the next place. Since I've experienced what it means to live with less, I feel like it's more than possible to do so now. Then I just have to figure out how not to accumulate so much more! I'm ready to get back to the less stuff and more joy and satisfaction with life. Every day and every item I rid myself of is a step back in that direction. I'm so excited!

12 comments :

  1. Wonderful story! When moving around a lot, living with less stuff is such an essential :-)

    ~ Jasmin N
    // littlethingswithjassy.com

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    1. Exactly! It'll be so much easier the next time around...and cheaper! Uhauls are expensive!

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  2. Great post, I've found it easier moving with less stuff than loads. Last time I moved I had to leave most of my belongings and furniture behind as I couldn't fit them all in a van

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    1. So much easier! This last move about killed me. Between cleaning up the place you're leaving behind and somehow getting all your stuff moved from point A to point B, just thinking about it makes me tired!

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  3. I love your description of having one foot raised to step into your next adventure. What powerful imagery to help you evaluate if you "need" something or not. Will this "thing" keep me weighted down so much that I can't take that step OR will it buoy me into the adventure. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks! My husband introduced me to that idea. It's exciting at the moment to be living that way, but the other part of me is just ready for whatever is next!

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  4. Very well written story. Constant moving means less stuff because you don't want to clutter your house and then panic when it's time to move!

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  5. This is such a wonderful story! Its always good to keep moving ❤

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  6. I remember the struggle of moving around a lot as a kid and how difficult it would be with loads of stuff, so I learnt to not overindulge or get attached, I've recently gotten brutal with my decluttering too literally throwing things away without a second thought so to keep the mess down for future moves

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  7. Omg. The clutter I have is so ridiculous! I'm about to be in the process of moving and I dread packing. I just want to have less!😣 Great story! Take care! 🤗

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  8. Aw, I love this story and I can totally relate! When I moved into my first apartment I had virtually nothing -- including a TV. And since that was way before smart phones, I actually didn't find out about what had happened on 9/11 until way later that morning when I went into work... crazy.

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    1. Wow! I totally forgot we didn't have smart phones on 9/11! It seems like they've just always been there. I was determined to get my television from Missouri to West Virginia. Mostly because when I was living by myself, noise made me feel more secure for some reason. It seems like the times in my life when I had a lot less, I was having a lot more fun with life. Weird how that happens.

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