After living in forty square feet for a month, walking into our eight hundred square foot home felt downright overwhelming.
We walked into every room and took a visual inventory of the "stuff" that made up our home. Why did we choose this or that? How many plates do we really need? Whose stuff is this? Things felt foreign and unnecessary.
I saw an extraneous clutter of stuff everywhere. Stashed away in drawers, shelves, and closets. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. I had the same feeling last year when we came back, but this time it was much more extreme. It was time to clear the clutter out, give it away, sell it and not replace it. Ever.
So we begin trimming the fat, paring down, purging, culling the herd of possession, and assessing the importance of our material possessions.
It's amazing how little I truly need, and what I've gotten used to carrying with me and clinging onto for years, decades even. This "stuff" just accumulates over time: "I need this, have to have that, this thing will change my life!” We all have a tendency to hoard even on the smallest scale. How many spoons do you have? We have sixteen eating spoons and five serving spoons. Twenty-one spoons, two people.
The truth is, if you have halfway decent stuff, someone else will own it someday. You are not permanent; you’re going to die someday. Other people will own this house, the Teardrop, my books, my banjo, my clothes, my tools, my truck. Because none of this is really mine. These items are temporarily in my possession. I just happen to be the current lien holder of these things.
Before we left on our January trip I started putting aside clothes I hadn’t worn in a while. It quickly went from a few things to a heaping pile of textiles. I had easily removed one third of my wardrobe, and I haven’t missed a single thread of it. Will this stop me from buying shoes? Don’t be silly. I will always buy shoes.
I've enjoyed reading your blog and feel like you are describing much of what I'm 'feeling' right now. Stuff...stuff and more stuff. I'm sure you've seen the George Carlin rant on stuff. If not, check it out on Youtube. I just wanted to tell you that I really like your style and appreciate the blog. I'm restoring/renovating a 1947 Tourette Teardrop Trailer. I dream of traveling and living simply in it. My dreams are going to start coming true this summer; I'm almost done!
Thanks, Todd! I know that George Carlin rant. I always enjoyed his smart, no-nonsense comedy.ReplyDelete
Enjoy the restoration of the trailer and the fruits of your labor!