RV in the Redwoods

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

I HATE my “stuff”!!!

25 Comments

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.

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Author: RV in the Redwoods

Twitter: @400daystil40

25 thoughts on “I HATE my “stuff”!!!

  1. We are so excited for you and this endeavor you are on. Your article depicts the thoughts of so many that have grown to this level of understanding however so few are brave enough to do something about it. We both downsized from the big homes with acreage and all the toys that made us slaves to a life style that consumes us in the end. Now we travel, meet people, talk about life all with joy and contentment. We are excited to find you and watch your journey and see the world through your eyes. We are rooting for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are going through the same thing – had an initial blitz and cleared out much at a yard sale, and then lost the energy for it. We too are planning to head out in an RV. What adventurers we are. Surely the open road, fresh air, and the downscale lifestyle will help motivate us.
    p.s. We have a storage unit also.

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    • Good luck! We can all motivate each other as we continue to clear out what we need to. I am in that first stage and that yard sale will come! I cannot wait to be further down the road. I do not get to lose energy, as I am on a timeline that will hopefully have me in the RV in the next 6-8 weeks (or sooner)! I can take a little longer to clear things out, but my house needs to go on the market!

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  3. Second try at leaving a comment. Too early, no coffee yet, let’s stick with that. 😄
    I wanted to caution you about storing things over more than a few months. The costs involved are nearly always MUCH higher than the stuff is worth, and perhaps surprisingly, often higher than buying new, better quality. Here is a link to a well-written blog addressing the issue (#8): http://wheelingit.us/2011/09/22/10-things-i-wished-id-known-before-fulltime-rving/
    And more specifically, here is the first of several posts about what they went through: http://wheelingit.us/2016/01/16/making-memories-getting-rid-of-them/
    Maybe these will help, maybe not. I bet what you’d value the most is a strong back and sturdy handtruck, hehe.

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  4. When we were going thru it it helped to think of our stuff having a new and productive life with people who needed it far more than we did. It was a long process, but very enlightening. We are freer, lighter and more centered at the end of it. Enjoy your journey. Check out “Bird by Bird” on our blog.

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  5. We are into month 5 of living in our RV with 2 cats. Not traveling, but stationed at our son’s house. WINTER! Record breaking snow, ice, and temps drastically sharpened our learning curve and is allowing us to test the quality of our RV! But to your subject – the stuff! We also have a storage unit. Most things were given away or sold. But the last bit of stuff we think we have to hold on to is there. This summer we are going back through everything to see what else can go. I’m sure we will ask “Why did we keep this? Didn’t we keep such and such?” Best wishes!

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    • I am not going to be traveling in my RV – it will be parked in the forest, about a five minute walk from the ocean – the best of both worlds! I am with you – I am sure I will eventually question why I placed certain things in storage. That said, it gives me a middle ground on the off change that I fail miserably at this full-time RV thing. I now need a crash course on living in an RV!!! 🙂

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  6. Oh boy, do I empathize! I dragged my 5 cubic feet of STUFF to Israel and back….only when I came back after 4 beautiful years, there was a whole lot more than 5 cubic feet (which is more than it sounds like, after all). Judaica, books, musical instruments, art, beautiful Israeli clothes…and I distributed tons of stuff to my neighbors and charities! It’s all taking up space in a dosage building. I RV in a 24 foot Class B, no room for my annotated Zohar or my hat collection 😭

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    • It is crazy how that works! I was in Israel for 12 years (meant to stay for 2 – oops!) As a result, I carted back a LOT more than I had arrived with – but when I look at most of it, I still wonder how relevant it all really was/ is. I have made a new pact with myself – no new books unless they are on my Kindle – it accommodates a growing collection without taking up any space! All new music is done through Amazon Music or Itunes – also digital and saving space. I have tons of CDs I do NOT want to part with, but they will end up in storage as there will not be room in the RV! Now, the storage unit is literally across the road from where I will live, so that will make things easier. 🙂

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  7. Tiny house big living!

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  8. Amen, right there with you! Here’s my post on your subject, just a couple months ago 🙂
    https://kanasmith.com/2016/11/30/living-large-by-living-small/

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    • Thank you so much! I loved what you wrote! We are all in this together, aren’t we? I am looking at purchasing a toy hauler too (getting close)! I need one for the girls and also because I have a gym quality recumbent bike I was not willing to give up in this move…. it’s my sanity! BUT there was a way to have both!!!

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      • I hear you, about needing a little sanity… we all have things we won’t let go, and I think it’s interesting and revealing, when you start offloading stuff, to realize what those things really are! 🙂

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  9. Got it. Getting rid of all my “stuff” was the best thing I may have ever done in my life for my life. Never again will I hoard rooms and rooms and boxes and boxes of shit I don’t even know I have. I live in a 24 foot travel trailer, and I’m still pitching stuff from in here. Wanting to get a smaller rig. I’ve downsized so much, that will be easy to do. I have empty cabinets all over the place in here. Feels great! Very few Americans figure this out. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this!! We recently sold our house and purchased a 5th wheel. It’s big in comparison to some, but I completely relate on the *stuff*. We have a storage unit with some things in it, but will be purging more things each time we are in the area!

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    • I am in the 5th Wheel now – I need to update my site! I have a storage unit I expect I may get rid of in the next year – so far LOVING the life in the 5th wheel with no regrets – plenty of room for me and my two teens… I also got a big one (44 ft).

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