One thing about living small, there isn’t a lot of room for stuff. Still, even after downsizing, our small home was chock full of stuff, and we have more stuff in our storage unit. After these months of living in close quarters with our stuff, we’re learning something though.
A lot of that stuff isn’t as important as we thought it was.
I’ve given my china set and the accompanying serving pieces to my daughter. Once, I coveted that set beyond belief, and spent an incredible amount of money on it. Now, it has become mere stuff.
Cookbooks have always been a huge part of my library, but now…I’m looking at titles that I use once in a while…and thinking that they would look pretty good in my daughter’s house now. If I want a recipe from them, she’d probably happily email it to me. Along with the cookbooks, I’m going to send a number of other books to her as well. Thinning out the current books will allow room for new ones that are more relevant now to us.
Clothes…are just not that important when you have to store them in bins that are stacked up beside the bed. When they are encroaching on bed space, your attachment grows much thinner and they become mere stuff themselves. We really only wear a handful of clothes, and while we have winter and summer clothes…we don’t need a vast quantity. They need to go away too. Time for a donation!
Even my prized KitchenAid Mixer is now on long term loan to my daughter. She doesn’t have one, and I don’t use mine that often in my tiny house. If I’m going to make something that complicated…I’d rather do it at her house with a vast kitchen my entire house could fit into. (Great excuse to go see a very beautiful grand daughter too, isn’t it?)
My canning equipment is gigantic and bulky, and that’s unavoidable. I’m not ready to give that up yet, but it languishes in the storage unit between escapades, as I don’t think my daughter has room to store it either. I’m thinking on this yet. Canning equipment is expensive to replace, used infrequently, but its impossible to do the job without it.
Our camping gear is another essential we’re not giving up yet. At the same time, I think its time for it to go on a diet. We take too much along when we go camping. Just ask GM, the lucky duck who does all of the searching the storage unit and loading of the long list of gear. He’d love to see us do more with less. At the same time, we carry extra gear when we’re doing group events, as I’m the designated camp chef. So our group gear isn’t going away either at this point, although between trips, it does live in the storage unit.
Sewing equipment is still staying, along with GM’s mechanic tools. We use that stuff, even if it does take up a lot of room. We also have a rake and a weed whacker gizmo. We’ll see how much we’ll keep a year from now though!
In general, I think we’re losing our attachment to stuff with the realization that we have to move it continually to get through our day and the infrequent occasions on which much of it is used. I’ve given away shoes and purses, clothes, household goods, etc. with a gleeful abandon. I am happy to see things go to someone who wants them and will use them. I’m learning to admire items without feeling a need to purchase them. I’m reducing my packrat tendencies as well.
We also have not stopped maintaining an emergency pantry and keeping our emergency backpacks packed and ready. Living in a travel trailer means that we can take our home and go, if we have enough notice to do so. If we don’t…well, its the four legged family members, our backpacks, and some stuff from our emergency pantry. That pantry is also our cushion in the event of financial hardship–we can literally live off of it for weeks or months. It will also act as a hedge against inflation over the coming months, if in fact it gets as unpleasant as some are predicting.
I find our evolution interesting, and the coming months will continue to be interesting as we continue to adapt and learn to live smaller.