Over the last four weeks I am learning the value of downsizing. Although, madly in love with my home and my work I realize I was experienceing stress regularly. But nothing out of normal, frankly, not as much as most people. But, this is what I have come to understand. If you suffer with migraines you don’t realize the immensity of the pain until it’s really gone.
Only two months ago we decided to sell our house and the closing took place exactly 30 days later. Moving that quickly is a huge amount of work at a fast pace. I never imagined how much stuff I could have! I thought I was a great decorator – I didn’t realize I was a hoarder. Opening our home for two consecutive weekends to let people shop took valuable time, but cha..ching! Although a lot of our things sold – so much was left behind. Good stuff too! (Why would I have junk! LOL!)
Having this knowledge now I would do it differently. I would shred paperwork, pack a bag, a few favorites, my office necessities and walk out the door. But it is done, over and no longer matters. We had the option of leaving it all behind and that is truly a benefit of not having to worry about cleaning up!
Making the decision to purchase our RV before we did close on the house was a really great decision. Because we actually did overestimate how much we could bring with us so the tiny pile got even tinier. Although, we have been living in our RV for a month we are still downsizing. It is amazing learning what we actually do need versus how we prepared for tiny living scenarios. We still are slightly over packed!
Art supplies are stuffed everywhere which seems surprising since I actually have only about 3% of what was in my art studio! The kitchen is over packed we are still pulling everything out to get to something and stuffing it back in! We began going through the kitchen and eliminating what we aren’t using. This has made the cooking prep work much easier.
Since we don’t eat at the table because it is too small to be comfortable to sit at unless you are invisible or a very tiny person I am currently using the dining table for my desk and we are considering putting a desk and shelves in its place. This would be much more efficient and practical use of space.
There is a designated desk area in the bedroom for Rick. We decided this would be best because when I do my work with clients there are two doors as a sound barrier. I’m not the soft spoken person in our tiny home, let’s face it I am super loud! Currently Rick is doing his work from a recliner with his laptop. You would think we would be in a hurry to set up our office spaces. But sometimes you just need to be in a space a little while to know how best to use it. I say, we have to let it talk to us. It is easier to get the feel of how we like to move and breathe in the space and would rather get it right by letting our preferences guide us.
In spite of the constant eliminating we are finding our groove and have found such joy in this lifestyle. It takes less time to clean, about 20 minutes with both of us doing separate chores. We are creating a home in a tiny space invoking it with our personalities. Although the price of gas has gone up when we compare our previous expenses to our new lifestyle there is more than a 60% difference in our favor. By joining Thousand Trails we secured life long access to travel and stay at almost 300 full-service campgrounds across the country.
Our work day is very different than it use to be, morning walks, work breaks, gazing out the window lunch and dinner al fresco is followed by afternoon and evening walks. We get more done and it seems time is much more available. There is a grace and ease to our life, a surprising realization because we both already considered our lives to be really great! Our daily backyard views have included deer, geese, lakes, farm animals and mystical hidden alcoves that we imagine being filled with fairy folk and unicorns.
There is peace knowing we can visit or be near family when needed or desired. With living moms, siblings, six children and eight grandchildren spread across the states and into Alaska visits seem more doable and affordable. Downsizing has given us the freedom to make wealth conscious decisions. It means we actually get to live a more exciting lifestyle filled with adventure, new places, people and opportunities. We now plan our adventures and not our “one day.”
Finding Love in Downsizing
I feel like I found life’s secret. Love. Falling absolutely in love with every moment and everything, being engaged with love. I think downsizing helped me to see how we fill our emptiness with things and distract our minds with worry and stress. I loved my life, but now it has more meaning and depth and my choices and decisions are filled with love.
The peace I have now, is so different from anything I remember or can explain. This feeling and this love may or may not be permanent but it is amazing. Feeling such joy, I can only embrace it. What I have right “now” is what I want and I embracing it. I am overjoyed we didn’t second guess this decision. Yes, freedom came at the simple cost of letting go by downsizing.