My wife and I recently returned from a four-month extended trip in our motorhome.
While the motorhome is definitely a luxury, it isn't really big. I mean, it's a big vehicle, but it's not very big as a house. In fact, it comes to about 300 square feet.
When you've been living in a 300 sq. ft. house for 4 months, and you come home to your full-size house, you see a real contrast.
Our house seems large to us now, yes.
But that wasn't the shocking thing.
The surprise for us was how appalled we are at how much stuff we own.
It began to weigh on us.
After all, we had just spent four months without all the stuff. Why did we need it now?
We began to realize the truth of the saying, “you don't own your stuff; your stuff owns you.”
We decided to start lightening up.
Here's our plan for phase one of what we are referring to as “un-stuffing”:
1. Get rid of 80% of our books. Boy, do we own a lot of books. The good news is, we have read most of them. But why do we feel the need to own all of them? Chances are we will not read them again. And the ones we do want to read again are available for free from the public library. Or very inexpensively on the Kindle. So the books are the first thing to go.
2. Get rid of the DVDs. We have quite a collection of DVDs, too. Most of them are great movies, and we really enjoyed watching them. But the truth is, at least 80% of the DVDs we own are just gathering dust and will probably never be watched again. When you add the fact that most of our movie-watching takes place via Netflix, Hulu, or some other on-demand digital format, keeping all these discs doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
3. Get rid of anything broken or unused. I'm surprised at how many things fall into this category. For example, I have a lot of electronic gadgets that I haven't used in years. Why am I keeping them? The same could be said of a lot of our clothes, kitchen gadgets, and a plethora of other “stuff”.
I am pretty sure that even after getting rid of the books, the DVDs, the broken stuff, and the stuff we don't use anymore, we will have more stuff than we need.
I mean, we've proven we can live with the very few items were able to put inside of our 300 sq. ft. motorhome. So even after this initial “un-stuffing”, I bet we'll still be hanging onto more stuff than we need.
That's okay. We are willing to take it in stages.
Progress, not perfection, you know.
What about you? Do you have thoughts on simplifying, or “un-stuffing”? Share them below.