Two years later when we moved from Colorado to California we downsized so that everything we owned fit into a Uhaul trailer - and that was including my motorcycle.
We recently downsized again into a Motorhome. I put an ad on Craigslist for anyone interested to come and take everything away. It was an awkward but freeing experience to see someone drive off with almost every single material possession that I had.
Here are a few of the items I've given up:
- A permanent home
- A full time job
- Almost all of my furniture
- Most of my physical books
- A CD collection
- A valuable collection of over 200 vinyl record albums
- Over half of my clothing
- Our second vehicle
- 2 Kayaks (I do miss them)
- Junk foods and wheat
- 35 pounds of body fat
- Lawn mower (and the lawn that needs mowed)
- Homemade wines and home-brewed beer (no space)
I don't count, but I'm quite sure that I truly own less than 100 things.
Here is a list of a few things that I've added to my life during the same time-frame that I gave up the items on the previous list.
- A motorhome so that I may live where I want, when I want.
- The freedom to spend each summer living and working near the National Park of my choice, but to spend winters with family and friends
- A strong motivation to be creative and generate multiple streams of income
- A closer relationship with those I love
- A dedicated practice of mindfulness and meditation
- More peace of mind
- Blogging and reading have replaced television as sources learning and entertainment
- Bicycle riding and more evening walks
- Fitness and health
- A portable Kindle library
- A portable music selection
- An appreciation for healthy foods
Maybe living in a motorhome isn't your thing and maybe my form of minimalism is a little too extreme for you. That's okay. We each need to find our own place where we have just enough - enough to be happy without so much that our possessions begin to weigh us down.
I encourage you to do an inventory of the things that occupy your life. What would you be better off without? What would take their place?
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living