Going for the Minimalist Lifestyle for the Maximum Life

I get asked all the time about why I am creating a minimalist lifestyle.  I’ll share with you my reasons and know that they are different for everyone.

I’d like to clarify that going minimalist doesn’t necessarily mean selling off all possessions.

Moses traveling in the back seat

This is a choice I am making. It will allow me and my husband, and dog, Moses, to travel the country sharing Down the Canal – the Game of Birth, and be able to see all the beautiful sites. As you can see by the office closet, I still have stuff to look through.

Other than owning less things, my other main reason for this shift in lifestyle is that I want to leave less of a carbon footprint on this planet; use less electricity, and take up less space. I feel that it’s up to all of us individually and collectively to do what we can to take care of mother earth.

Currently,  I don’t buy a lot of things.  It has to be something I need. I want to make every purchase all the time a conscious choice.  I get to ask:

  • Where is this product made?
  • Who is making it?
  • Work to do on the office closet
    My office closet

    Who is profiting?

    Of course, I can purchase consciously every day, and I have been getting better and better at this. Food is especially tricky, trying to figure out where all the ingredients come from, and who is actually selling it. I am learning.

Many minimalists have regular jobs, apartments, and they own stuff. They don’t buy and accumulate what they don’t need. For example. a minimalist could live in a house with a garage, and the garage is for the car, and not a storage unit.

Minimalism is a lifestyle choice, just as home ownership, city living, veganism, and nudist colony living.

We have all been made to believe we need things we don’t really need. It’s called marketing, and consumerism. More is better, so they say. I like to say less is more.


Making Progress on a Minimalist Lifestyle

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written.  Progress is slow. It seems that we still have so much stuff!! And, then there are some repairs still needed on the house.

Changing a lifestyle is a transformational event.  For the past 13 years we’ve been living in one place in a 2500 square foot house with a pool and two acres, and we are working toward living in about 350 square feet on the road full time . Not a lot of space for stuff.

We are so fortunate to have what we have, and to live the way we do.  Sometimes I forget that, and I catch myself in a place of lack. For example, at the YMCA this morning in the shower it got cool.  I began to speak of it when my dear friend said, “A first world country problem.”

So true. We not only have running water but it’s also clean. Something many of us take for granted.

Stuff is extra. It’s what we think we need.

We have sold quite a bit of stuff already: freezers, refrigerator, dining buffet, tables, ice merchandiser, window AC, compressor, generator, tools, and other assorted items.  So far, I haven’t missed anything I’ve unloaded.

It’s been great to light the fire in the pit and throw in old pictures, and broken furniture, and files we don’t need.

This whole process is liberating.  It reminds me of the fact that as humans it isn’t the stuff we need.  It’s connection with other humans, relationships where we can be ourselves, and keep creating the best version of who we are.





Going Minimalist: A Family Treasure Gets Sold

I listed the cherry mahogany dining buffet on Ebay a few months back.  We’ve also had some lookers from yard sales; live and virutal.  I figured this beautiful antique piece would take some time to sell.

Last Sunday, while lounging  after celebrating my Birthday, I got a ding on my phone, an offer through Ebay.  I had forgotten the bureau was listed there. Bingo!! Within a few minutes I accepted the offer, and the buyer has arranged for shipping.

I had a bittter sweet moment as the memories of where the bureau had been and how long it’s been in the family came flooding to me. I had to remind myself that it is still stuff, and I can’t take it with me on the road.

The good news is that the woman who purchased the mahogany dining buffet is giving it to her son and daughter-in-law as a gift. This warmed my heart. It felt right.

Parting with stuff is liberating and it can stir emotion.  I remind myself that in order to live my dream of sharing the game I created, Down the Canal, and to see every state in this beautiful country, I must part with stuff.

Do you have a dream? Are you taking action to make it happen? I hope so.

Riding out the Storm: A Test of Trust and Surrender

This week I have been reminded of trust and surrender. While watching and anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Irma, so many emotions, choices to make, doubts, and fears. A mixed bag for sure.

As I write this today, the storm is pummeling the east coast of Florida, and we have been spared the worst in Citrus County Florida, where I live. I have many friends and colleagues that are experiencing more dire consequences.

I am feeling the urgency to support those in need, while also listening to my local officials to stay off the roads. I am surrendering to the lack of control I have over the weather, and the devastation from the storm. I am trusting that the first responders are doing all they can for those in need.

At one point, during the impending storm I thought about our goal to be living the minimalist lifestyle, and perhaps it would happen in an instant if we lost our stuff to Irma, or if the house were to be severely damaged. This would have been the worst case scenario, and I surrendered to that possibility.

I feel grateful beyond words that we were not harmed in any way, that we have our electricity, and no damage to our property.  I am ready for what comes next.  I can’t wait to reduce the amount of stuff I have to keep track of, and maintain.

Trust and surrender both supported me through this storm and many other stormy moments in my life.  Knowing that all will be okay, and surrendering to whatever will be will be allows for a more peaceful existence, no matter what the circumstance is.

In times like these, it is a great reminder that life is now. Being present to what is happening in the moment, and being surrounded with love is what matters.




Going Through VHS Tapes

Wow!!! Tons of memories as we watch VHS tapes with a VCR that an acquaintance gave us.  We watched our sons when they were little, I saw myself giving my Master’s degree presentation. I looked so young at 27.

The best news is that we are throwing more out. I hate that I am creating so much garbage, and at the same time…how liberating it is to be free of stuff.  I finally get the thing about when you have a bigger house, you fill it up more.

We are planning to digitize some of the memories. I am not certain I’ll watch them again. The kids might like to look at them when they have kids. I don’t know. I remember watching me as a kid when my Dad would pull out the reel to reel, or the carousel slide projector (I have two of these in the closet).

I get to go through the clothes again. I find myself wearing my favorites most of the time. There are ocassions when it is proper to wear something other than cut off shorts and a tie dye shirt. I’ll figure that out another day.

Mission VHS is almost complete!! Stay tuned for another episode.

Stage 1: Going Minimalist

This is stage 1. We get to sell almost everything we own, to live in 350 square feet. Currently we live in 2500 square feet, not including the three car garage. We have sold quite a bit, and we have so much more to sell. It is a transformation of a lifelstyle.  It is definitely a process to embrace, and to allow to unfold.  Steve and I are each doing our part with selling, and sorting and cleaning and throwing. And, of course, saving some stuff.   When we have sold all, including the house, we’ll be hitting the road. I’ll be sharing all our adventures. In the meantime, it is the adventure of freeing ourselves from stuff!!