The effort required to imagine your entire life in 165 square feet definitely requires a serious perspective shift. We WILL make this work, somehow! When it comes to the huge leap in downsizing to tiny living, it's never too early to start preparing. Our bus won't be ready for a while, but we're getting the ball rolling now. It's been incredibly liberating to exercise our ability to detach from our stuff through deciding what to keep, sell, or donate in order to downsize. I'm talking this-is-amazing level liberating, which leads me to believe that we've been subconsciously preparing for the switch to tiny living for a while now. 🙂
It's REALLY remarkable how much stuff we have and don't even use, or notice, or remember acquiring. You know when you're moving and you start asking yourself, "WHERE DID WE GET ALL OF THIS STUFF?! Why did I think I needed this? Where did this come from? Is this even mine?! Did someone plant these super heavy boxes filled with nonsense in my house for me to deal with?!" There's been a lot of that. Let's just say the pile to give away or sell is MUCH larger than the keep pile.
The gravitational pull toward simplification began a couple of years ago in order to get rid of our student loan debt. Over time we've learned to see it as logical and liberating, rather than like we're restricting ourselves. Like I said before, perspective shift. Embrace it!
The most important question to ask is the simplest, "Do we really NEED this?"
I find it really energizing to be creative with what you have to work with, and try to make more happen with less, by choice.
It's also very comforting to know that you truly don't need that much STUFF to not only survive, but live well and enjoy the moment!
Kitchen and Clothing Nonsense:
I LOVE to cook and bake, but the list of things I need to accomplish what I love in the kitchen isn't very long! I'd say we make about 90% of our meals in the same 15 inch Lodge cast iron skillet. So I asked myself, which of my kitchen tools, cookware, basically everything in our kitchen have I ACTUALLY touched and used in the past week? A lot, I mean a lot of stuff didn't make the cut.
Another space-sucking area of "stuff" is our clothes/shoes. I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only person out there who has 8-10 pairs of jeans but only REALLY likes two of them. Oh sure, I'll put the other ones on for like 5 seconds, complain about how they've never fit me right, and put them right back on the shelf. WHY KEEP THEM?! I just keep buying a pair or two per year of the SAME brand/size of jeans and call it a day.
Kicking the Desire to Simplify Into High Gear:
In October of 2015, we spent a week road tripping/camping in Northern California. Our itinerary included two backpacks, a rental car, and exactly zero plans. It was 7 of the most beautiful days together, hiking, exploring, enjoying good food, and for some reason still opting to save money where we could. We spent the last two nights in an incredible B&B in Mendocino. Wow. As much as we loved the pampering, you can get that anywhere in the world. When we left California, what I missed was the redwoods, the quiet, our little orange Marmot tent. Maybe we're crazy?! I don't know.
I've thought about that week almost every day since then. I'm not kidding. It's hard to explain but it did something permanent to me. It was the catalyst to all sorts of wonderful things that have taken shape this winter: progression, action, movement. Sometimes stepping away to the quiet teaches you things without you even realizing it. Exploring in the redwoods taught me that this life is YOURS and there's a lot of simple beauty out there. If you want something, some way of life, some dream, make moves to make it happen. Don't stop improving your situation and adding more happiness to your plate. It doesn't have to be complicated.
That trip reaffirmed the desire we've been inching toward for years: