I recommend using the internet as a cursory search tool but for you to do the majority of your research in person. Yes, that means investing in personal interaction with other human beings!
I know it has been a while since my last blog post, but it has been a pretty hectic last couple of weeks. I’m now in Washington State staying at an RV Park close to my “off the grid” property getting ready for season 2. Checkout the photo of my view below! In the second photo my property is where that cleared patch close to the top, on the right of the mountain.
I finished up my downsizing phase, I will be talking about it below and show you how to get started.
I have a lot to share on this project, so make sure to check back, as I will be posting everything on my blog, to include photos and all the videos.
This “downsizing” adventure started about 5 years ago, and on the physical possessions side I would say it is complete.
I will tell you, it is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever taken on in life, but also one of the most rewarding and freeing at the same time. I wish I could have just snapped my fingers and have it happen overnight, but it took some serious planning. It started with selling my house, that was much bigger than what I needed, and could afford at the time (watch Episode 1 of my Financial Health Series). After I sold my house, I had a Craigslist extravaganza! Within 48 hours I sold almost everything I had put on there to the tune of around $12,000. My rule was if I couldn’t fit it in my truck (in the bed with camper shell) it was gone.
By doing this it forced me to fully commit, because by getting rid of all my appliances and almost all my furniture there was no turning back. It would have just been too expensive and take too much time to re-acquire all those possessions. After I saw my kitchen table, the last big item, drive away on the top of the car of the person’s car who purchased it; it truly sank in what I was about to embark on. Now 5 years later that seemed to scream by I’m at the culmination of what I set out to do.
I want to thank my mom and stepfather for their great deal of patience and understanding. Without them supporting me, and letting me use their storage sheds to house my stuff in-between this would have been a much bigger challenge. Basically during this process, I had stuff everywhere. You really don’t realize how much crap you have, until you have to go through every item and figure it out. Talk about a bunch of useless possessions, and many spur of the moment purchases doing nothing, but collecting dust.
I’m not going to candy coat it, it was really difficult letting lose of some of my possessions that had literally followed me all over the country over two plus decades. But that is just it, you have to figure out what is really important to you, and what you can’t live without. For me, I soon realized that tools, mountain bike, road bike and hunting and fishing gear were the most important. They were the items that hands down gave me the most joy in my life. I think that is the best place to start. Look at the things you enjoy the most and use on a regular basis, then separate them out.
Even clothes became an issue, holy cow did I have a lot of clothes I never worn! For me getting rid of all my former government job (see my background here) work clothes, suits, dress casual and some other gear was the most liberating. I made a pack with myself from that moment forward, I would never wear another dress suit or tie… ever! Talk about society imposing a stupid money wasting outfit that serves no purpose, but that is a topic for another time haha.
From there it was about taking it as a step by step process (check out my blog post on simplifying your life). Moving from my house to a small cottage, which is basically a studio house. My bedroom, kitchen and living room were all, well one big room. The cottage was about a third the size of my house. Then eventually moving into my travel trailer, which was about a quarter the size of the cottage. Without taking this as a step by step approach I’m not sure I would have been successful. But I do not want to discourage anyone from trying, as everyone is different.
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