How to Down size from a house to Camper, Part One

How often do we really take a good look at the “stuff” we’ve accumulated in our homes? Most of us probably go day-to-day ignoring the stuff in our homes.  Overfilled cabinets, drawers, and closets.  Not until we are faced with downsizing are we really aware of what we own and collected over the years.

Wandering through the house, I wonder what am I going to do with all this stuff?  A better description would be, “Where did all this crap come from?”.   In my last post, I described my husband and I as over the road truck drivers.  Living in an 8×8 sleeper, we seriously downsized and rented a storage unit for the items we couldn’t live without.  Not this time, there will be no added expense of paid storage.  We had better leave our emotions out of it and dump, sell or donate what we can.

It was hard at first, staring at the walls, furniture, nick nacks, I knew they had to go.  We started slowly, very slowly.  My first step was clothing.  It seemed emotionally the easiest to handle. We bought a big box of yard trash bags and went to work.  Most of the clothes were in good shape, needless to say, if I didn’t wear and wash it at least once a week, it was donated.  Same goes with shoes, purses, belts and don’t forget all the numerous winter garb stashed in the front closet.

We agreed to clean and weed out something, a room or a closet, every day.  Small steps made it easier to let stuff go. If we couldn’t weed the rooms we took trips to the local donation center or the dump.  After a few of these trips, it became easier.  The weight on my heart and shoulders lightened.  I could see progress.  I didn’t need all this stuff.  By the way, “where did all this crap come from?”  We now have a chance to live lightly, more freely without filling our lives with stuff that really, in the end, doesn’t make us happier, only more cluttered in mind and spirit.

I won’t kid you and tell you this process was hunky dory and I had some grand epiphany. Each time we touched an item it took a lot of consideration and retrospection.  The family items were the worst.  But when it comes down to it, the kids really don’t want this “crap” you saved from their school years.  It’s just more stuff to take up space in their lives.

At this point on our timeline, we are still weeding rooms and taking trips to the dump.  I do know this though, every time I look up any item online or handle some new shiny toy in a retail store, my question will be, “will this end up in someone’s donation bin or laying in a buried heap in a landfill?” The answer will most likely be,” yes”.


Author: L. Beard

I am a graduate of Mercer University, Bachelor of Arts, 2001, with a concentration in Sociology. I love travel, camping and the simple things in life. I'm intrigued by the human condition and all it's complexities. Some call me direct, I describe myself as a realist. My greatest gift is to have my best friend, and the love of my life by my side and along for the ride.

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