On the road, we often end up in conversations with other travelers and vacationers about downsizing. We meet people frequently who are in the process of downsizing, or want to begin, but are not ready. It is overwhelming. There are some great books, websites, and YouTube videos out there to support you if you want to go minimal, or even get rid of some stuff. There are plenty of resources out there, so I won’t tell you how to do it. Google it. But if you need physical help or moral support for organizing, let me know. Remember, it’s like losing weight: If you want to keep it off, it’s a process and a permanent lifestyle change, and it works best if done at the right pace.
Al and I are both naturally minimalists. We are Mr. and Mrs. Tidy McTidypants. So it wasn’t that difficult for us to downsize. We were fortunate to be able to do so over several years, also. We continue to get rid of things regularly that we don’t need, even if we have space for them. If we don’t use it, we don’t want it around. Everything is better off in use than in storage.
Obviously, this lifestyle saves us money. We need very little, and we waste much less than we did living in a house. Most importantly, our time is freed from the maintenance of too many things. Minimalism is truly freeing. But not for everyone.
Now that we’re retired, time is no longer money for us in the way that it was before. We no longer have to constantly work at maintaining balance between our careers and other aspects of our lives. Cheers to that!
Still, time continues to be our most precious commodity. And we want to spend our time on the good stuff. That’s why we also minimized our online presence. We are constantly re-evaluating how we spend our time, to ensure that we are having fun, being useful, and creating lives we can look back on with pride and satisfaction. And giggles. So, we are reducing time waste as well.
An unexpected phenomenon resulting from this change has been our perception, while traveling, that time has slowed. In a good way. We pack a lot of good and groovy into our hours these days. Hell, yeah!
Having less is spending less. This includes saving by not buying stuff, but also fuel costs are way down, we also spend less on food, entertainment, rent, utilities, maintenance, basically everything. Our budget is simpler. If you’re interested in knowing more about this, don’t be shy. Ask me. But the subject is pretty boring to me, so I’m not going to write a lot about it.
WHAT DID YOU KEEP?
We now have only what can fit in the 28’ Airstream or in the truck. Obviously, we have some boring stuff, like some cooking utensils, tools, and clothes. And some exciting stuff, like e-bikes, kayaks, and a propane fire pit. We also held on to my painting by Lavanya and some other small art pieces, and a few of our very favorite books. We have started a collection of sea shells and rocks and things that we find on our walks. Things that we keep only because they make us feel good are some of the most useful things. Yep, minimalism is working out well.