RV in the Redwoods

…because happiness is a journey of people and experiences, not things


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Sorting, Day 2 and RV Purchasing

“Much of what we acquire in life isn’t worth dragging to the next leg of our
journey. Travel light. You will be better equipped to travel far.”

~ Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments

So today was another sorting day – and I did accomplish a lot, but not as much as I wanted to when I consider how much sorting I have left to do.  With only weekends to get to work, it is a lot of pressure and a time crunch as the sooner I am out of here and this house is on the market the better.  So, today was clothing day!  I sorted all the clothes I currently have in my wardrobe.  *Disclaimer, I shrunk out of a few sizes this past year and those larger clothes are in the garage still waiting to be sorted – almost all of those will be added to the growing pile for a yard sale and donation*

Here are the “before” pictures of my closet – it is a disaster – a BIG overflowing disaster!

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And HERE is the after photo – I breathe easier looking at it!

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The crazy thing?  I emptied so much, but EVERY favorite outfit I re-wear week after week is still in this paired down closet.  AND I would even argue that I could sort more (not that I will get too radical yet!)  This was just round 1 with the clothes!  I did not part with anything that I wear on a regular basis.  I could use this much emptier closet and still manage to not re-wear the same outfit for a month!

This is a photo of a clothing box for my storage unit.  Since I lost quite a bit of weight, I am keeping one size up in the unit – lots of cute clothing here I do not want to go out and purchase at a later date (and most of it from other countries, so I could not easily replace it) – The first bin for storage.

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And THIS!  This is my growing pile of “STUFF” for a yard sale and then give away. Stay tuned to watch it continue to grow and grow and GROW!

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It was definitely a challenge today to sort – and some things were easier to get rid of than others.  And the harder things came down to sentimental value – a shirt I had carried around for twenty years, even though I wore it less than 20 times in those twenty years, etc.  The reality is, I will forget I ever had it once it is gone – it was not my favorite comfy shirt, it was just a shirt attached to a place – and I can keep those place memories in my mind – I do not need a shirt to hold those memories fondly.

Tomorrow I will finish off the clothing sorting with the bins I currently have in the garage and my “Halloween Costume Box” – which I am sure could be thinned out too.  Then, I will call it quits for this weekend – I have to catch up on things for work and give myself a break before a long work week.  Besides, I will pick up where I left off the following weekend.

Now, I have to work on securing the RV!  I have narrowed it down but am struggling a bit with the two dealers – I am shocked at how much customer service has changed in the time since I left the USA almost 16 years ago and moved back three and a half years ago – sometimes I feel like I am begging people to take my business, when they should be more attuned to customer needs.  I cannot tell you how many RV dealers have not returned my calls, etc.  Either they don’t need the sale (which is crazy, this is a lot of money we are talking about) or perhaps they are not taking me seriously as a woman purchasing an RV?  It is all very strange to me and I hope to make some serious movement towards a purchase in the next few days.


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Sorting, Day 1

“Why the obsession with worldly possessions ? When it’s your time to go, they have to stay behind, so pack light.”

~ Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe

Today I started the process of sorting to move from 1500 square feet into 400 square feet.  The process of sorting is going to take longer then I imagined.  At the moment I have four categories:

  1. Going in the RV
  2. Going into Storage
  3. Going Away (donated or sold)
  4. Maybe

One of the things I realize today is that the easiest categories are 1 and 3.  I know what I really want and what I really do not want.  Figuring out what to pay to store and wading through the “maybes” will be much more time consuming.

Today I set myself up for the process.  I bought sturdy plastic bins for the storage units (with the humidity here, boxes are not the best storage unit option).  I also bought this wonderful new friend:

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I have so much paper garbage that needs to be properly disposed of.  This was where I started today, although I am nowhere near done.  I have boxes and boxes of files and old journals, etc. that have traveled the world with me.  There is a lot of confidential realities, so it will be quite a process, of shredding…. but worth it.  I just do not think I need to keep hauling around medical records from a car accident that happened in September of 1997!  I also do not need the journals I wrote as a 19 year old trying to figure out life.  It is time that these things, though once old friends, move on.  Today it was clearing piles from the past 8-10 months.  The shredded pile is quite satisfying to look at!

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The last thing I tackled tonight was shoes.  I have about 40 pairs.  I was able to cut that in half on the first round.  I am already having second thoughts about one pair I put in the Going Away pile, but I am trying to hold strong.  If they were worn less than 5 times in the past year, it is time to say goodbye – and, even so, I still have 19 pairs to deal with!

Give Away

Give Away

Keeping - Some in RV and Some in Storage

Keeping – Some in RV and Some in Storage (It’s a start!)

I am hoping to report more progress after tomorrow.  I want to sort my clothes and I know that is going to be a HUGE challenge for me!

 

 


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I HATE my “stuff”!!!

Stuff – we all have it.

Stuff – I have TONS of it.

Stuff – it’s everywhere – home, office, car.

Stuff – the media tells us we “NEED” more of it.

Stuff – am I even using it?

As I sit here in my house, preparing to downsize into life in an RV, I look around me and find myself HATING my stuff.  Perhaps the realities of life have added to my jaded attitude towards all that we use and consume.  At the end of the day, we know that “stuff” does not make us happy – and, in fact, it seems the more “stuff” we have, the more our satisfaction decreases and the drive then continues for more, bigger, better “stuff”.

I don’t want “stuff” I do not need or use anymore.  I want less “stuff” and more experiences, I want less “stuff” and more time.  I have spent the last 8 years working long hours in a job and then coming home to be slave to the home and “stuff” the job has purchased.  It takes a lot of time and energy to keep track of all of our “stuff”.

I have no desire to be slave to things.  In my lifetime I have been a mini-hoarder and I have attached sentimental meaning to objects that has then left me with a feeling of obligation to haul these objects with me – in my case, ALL OVER THE WORLD.  I have paid to move tiny sentimental objects from the USA to Israel and back…. and during that time they mostly sat in boxes.  I was not willing to part with items because “I have kept them for so long, how can I get rid of them now?”  I am challenging myself to change my ways and part with these things as I downsize.  I do not find comfort in these things, I find comfort with people and my animals.  I do not find joy in these things, I find joy with people and in experiences.  I do not find satisfaction in these things, I find satisfaction when I accomplish things, assist others as they grow, or volunteer.

As I look around my house and hate all these things I really do not need, I also realize how much of my “stuff” I never use.  Most of it.  Even my wardrobe – I wear my favorite outfits over and over and there are the less favorites that make rare appearances and then those items that I keep “just in case”.  So much of my wardrobe is “just in case”.  What if every item in my wardrobe was kept with purpose?  That means I can have that fancy dress or two, but I do not necessarily need five.  I can have those pairs of boots, but I do not need five pairs of black boots.  I know many people around the country and world are challenging themselves to live lives that have more abundance by living a simplified life where every item has a function and a purpose.  Their stories inspire me.  I hope you are inspired too.

The Minimalists

Project 333

The Tiny Life

RV Dreams

***True confession – I am renting a storage unit.  I will be keeping some of my “stuff” as I embark on this journey – just in case I really cannot make it living in 400 square feet.  I am giving myself an out.  Yet, even as I give myself the out, I still want to significantly reduce the amount of stuff I have, both with me in the 400 square feet and in the storage unit I will have to pay for.