How we became minimalists….


Cow pasture behind the Bays

A view on one of my walks around a campground. Simplicity!

I’m taking Blogging 101, a free course offered by WordPress. It’s really good, but if only we had unlimited data or free wi-fi. That has held us back.  It takes some time to go through the exercises, but eventually, I hope to learn things that will translate into a better blogging experience.

One real huge benefit is to meet and make new “friends” with others who also have a passion sharing their life experiences. One of my new friends, Arpita, a fellow traveler, asked me to write a blog on how to become a minimalist after she read my other blog (click here). Since we are still playing the waiting game, waiting for grandchild # 2 to appear, we needed something to blog about that was related to our lifestyle. You see, this blog is as much for us as anyone. We want to record our memories here to help us later in life…or tomorrow when we can’t remember what we did today! LOL

We never really intended to become minimalists until we had been married 30 years and we were on our 11th move. We suddenly realized we had been carrying some of the same boxes through all the moves and never even opened them. But let’s backtrack to August 19, 1989. We remarried after being separated and divorced for a year. We rededicated ourselves not only to each other but to the Lord. We had a simple and small wedding but were blessed to have a church and lots of new friends help us. The most pivotal aspect was a simple song we selected to have sung at our wedding, from these scriptures: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. And all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:32 In context, these scriptures were saying to not worry about what you wear and what you eat. God knows what you need and He will provide them.

And then, we helped both of our mom’s after our father’s deaths downsize and move out of their homes.  Bill’s dad passed in 1996 and my dad in 1999. Our 12th move was in 2004 and that was when we purposed to become minimalists.  We downsized OK, but the small Florida home we first bought wasn’t spacious enough. So we backslide on our minimalistic lifestyle and bought a bigger home….We really tried to be minimalists, but somehow, we still held on to too many things. For me, it was my books. For Bill, it was tools and Harley motorcycle stuff.

The event that finally got our attention and we realized we had to just get rid of everything was soon after we bought our first Recreational Vehicle (RV) on September 4, 2013. We bought a small and extra light 5th wheel. In other words, we couldn’t take much stuff with us. We suddenly realized it was the perfect minimalist lifestyle for us.

X-tra Light 5th Wheel

It sold in May 2015

Bill was more concerned with HOW to get rid of everything. So he began reading the blogs of full-time RVers to see how they did it. Many either kept a house full of stuff and had relatives or friends keep an eye on things, or rented a storage locker for the valuables they couldn’t part with. Some stored things at family’s homes. And it all just looked like a process.

For me, I just never really cared for much stuff. I’m not a shopper so I wasn’t attached to much stuff. Perhaps the fact that I moved a lot as a military brat had this impact on me. But my books! Oh, how I hated to get rid of them. But I knew they had to go. I had given most away  during our 12th move. Bill especially hated my books because he was the one who had to move them! So I really downsized to 1/2 of a bookcase that fit in a closet. These were really valuable and hard to part with books. But I knew how he felt, so I just said they had to go!

Bill’s turning point was when someone expressed an interest in his motorcycle. WOW, I never thought he would part with it. But he realized he couldn’t do both, RV and ride his bike. This was HUGE….and it was his turning point. Once he sold it, nothing else mattered to him.

2006 Harley Ultra Classic

2003 Harley Ultra Classic

Our daughter was in the process of selling her small two bedroom townhome and moving into a four-bedroom house with three bathrooms. That was our perfect solution to giving her some family heirlooms and some of our favorite furniture.  We also gave some furniture to other relatives that were also family heirlooms. And then we had a huge garage sale over two days and just emptied the house, which had sold in a week with a closing date in a month.  It made it so easy for us.

Due to the lack of sufficient time to really sort through what we thought were irreplaceable, family things (that no other family member would want), we rented a 5′ X 10′ storage locker. These were things that you don’t really sell….and Bill’s cherished big TV (it’s a man thing isn’t it?)! He just wasn’t ready to say we wouldn’t have a house again within the year. So after paying rent for about six months, we realized some things wouldn’t store very well.  We really just prayed over what to do and ended up donating these valuable things to families in need and to a youth ministry that holds yard sales to raise money to pay the rent.  But we still had to pay storage as we hung onto some valuable pictures – to us and our kitchen wares. So next time we go back to Sebring, we plan to clean out the locker.

We are loving our VERY simple lifestyle! We love our time and not having stuff helps us have more time for the things in life that really matter now that we are grandparents and travel full time.

Photo shoot with grandson

A minimalist grandma’s photo shoot with grandson.

Click here for an update on our Minimalistic Lifestyle!

48 thoughts on “How we became minimalists….

  1. Hi Debbie, I’m really enjoying the Blogging 101 class too although always seem to be running a little late on my deadlines! I really enjoyed reading this post and getting to know how you worked up to the minimalist lifestyle. I often think about it, particularly after moving countries a couple of times, but struggle with some of the sentimental pieces. Hearing how you managed that process and gave positively to others is really inspiring, good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, it was such a process and it took years decades to get to this place! LOL
      Fortunately it worked out that family wanted some priceless “heirlooms” but we still have a few things no one else wants – main thing is a big beautiful picture of us in the Rocky Mountains. We paid $100’s for it….can’t believe no one else wants it! LOL

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Can I just tell you how much I love this post???!! With a second child on the way and living in a small 1 bedroom apartment, my husband and I have been working towards a more minimalist lifestyle. My gosh do we have a long way to go, but your words give me hope. Thank you for sharing your journey. I look forward to following it. God put you in my path for a reason. Best of luck in the welcoming of your grandchild!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good job Debbie. Been through much the same thing myself. It got easier when I realized …
    “There’s no trailer hitch on a hearse.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, I LOVE this post! My boyfriend and I are trying to get on track for a minimalist lifestyle. Currently we each live with our respective parents, but are about to move into our 750 sq ft house. It may not be an rv, but it’s much smaller than most of our friends’ first houses. Thank you for the insight!
    Second, I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Find out more about it here: https://seeyoustarside.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/liebster-award-nominations/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you so much! This blog does need some love, but I am going to decline only in that this blog is really more for family, friends and others interested in the full time RV lifestyle. Although I am going to try and reblog some of our marriage blog, which was how it started! I was also nominated on my other blog, so happily accepted it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure if I replied to your nomination! I’ve been a bit overwhelmed of late (while trying to take Blogging 101)…and now I am seeing I’ve been nominated a number of times….So now I have time and wifi, so I am going to accept and attempt to do one blog on these awards….

      Like

      • Not a problem. I have decided that the question I answered gave me something to look back at and expand on later if I get stuck. Good luck and good blogging!

        Like

  5. Thank you so much for writing this post! It takes a lot of courage to up & donate or give away precious things. Especially Books! I can give away anything else but books, I always have a hard time parting with. Your post has really inspired me towards a minimalist lifestyle! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just exactly what I am debbie😊 a minimalist. Well several friends been wandering, how my backpack contains all stuff I need. Much more than they could not imagine that how passionate I am in taking photograph none of which they seen at home? Not even a picture frame…LOLZ
    I always wanted that way. Plain and simple😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’d love to boil life down to a backpack! That was our initial desire upon retirement. We were still young and healthy and could have done it. But life got in the way, and 10 years later, we can’t manage sleeping on the ground, but we are living a wonderful life traveling. I need to take a photography class. Your pictures are absolutely fabulous!

      Like

  7. Dear Debbie,

    It’s a beautiful post. The picture of your grandson is the most beautiful picture I have seen in many months. You really live in a beautiful neighborhood. 🙂

    The Harley Classic is a beautiful motorcycle and I am sure your husband had a difficult time parting with it. I like all the pictures in this post. I don’t know how minimalists live but I am also someone who keeps minimum possible things with him.

    I ran away from home in 2013 to take renunciation for realization of Self and to serve humanity. I used to live in an Ashram where I kept only couple of clothes to wear on alternate days as I used to wash one everyday since I used to worship in temple–I was a priest.

    My family members discovered me and brought me back–here also I have only pair of clothes, a laptop and a few books around me. I feel we belong the same league. 🙂
    It’s a spiritual practice in eastern traditions to keep only as much as is must for your survival and functioning. Having minimum makes us detached from possessions and also helps poor and needy. It’s a way to help society—from which we have taken so much. 🙂

    Spiritual practice of being minimalist leads to detachment from material possessions but it’s just first step. We need to get detached from our relatives and thoughts too. Becoming detached and an observer of our thoughts is subtlest and requires highest discipline. This leads to liberation from suffering and misery. 🙂

    Nice to meet you Debbie.

    Anand 🙂

    Like

  8. Firstly the word ‘minimalist’ is always very inspiring to me. Instantly catches my eye and I want to read about how people make such a clear choice about their lives. I have made three moves in three years so I know what you mean by boxes that never get opened 🙂

    Very nice post, straight from the heart. And your grandson is such a doll, lovely picture 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have friends who retired about two years ago, got rid of everything except what would fit in two suitcases and took off in an RV. I get notes from them every now and then. They are loving their new lifestyle.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. […] likes to hike, and Jasmin, a young mom of LittleNuggetBigNugget.  Lacie found us on our post about becoming minimalists. And we connected in several other areas. Here’s a little bit about her from her blog: […]

    Like

  11. Congratulations on being minimalist graduates – it can be so hard to let go of stuff that has good memories or gives us pleasure – like books! We have become more minimal having moved on to our 42 foot boat, but we still have 15 feet of book shelves and stuff in 3 different family lifts and a shed back in UK…..thanks for posting a good reminder to keep shedding…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments! Yes, we are down to our last few “storage feet” of belongings. We’re trying to figure out what you do with old plaques and awards from our younger and productive days! Our daughter doesn’t have the room to store them and we just don’t want to pay to store them as they can get damaged in these types of storage lockers. A nephew moved into a big home not that far away, so I have to see if he has a corner in his attic he could hold these things a little longer. We know one day, we will be back into a sticks and bricks home….like in 10-20 years from now! LOL

      Like

  12. Glad to know that living a minimalist life seems to work for you. I can imagine seeing a box you haven’t unpacked from the previous move would be a sign to get rid of it. My family still owns the house I grew up in, so we haven’t moved. I went away to college and moved into our summer home, but that’s all I’ve done. So no real moving.

    After my grandparents passed away and I saw my aunt going through their stuff, I started thinking that maybe having all this stuff was pointless and that it’d be better to get rid of things so someone else didn’t have to. It’s a process. Glad it all worked out for you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. […] are in the final stages of becoming minimalists. While we thought we really were, we did have a 5′ X 10′ storage locker in our hometown […]

    Like

  14. […] original post seemed to gather lots of interest.  We know this lifestyle is not for everyone.  But this may […]

    Like

  15. Reblogged this on It's Arpita's Life and commented:
    Debbie has been a mentor to me on my Journey towards becoming a Minimalist. She is also an amazing person! I completely adore her! Read on to find out how Debbie & her wonderful husband became Minimalists!

    Like

  16. Love the picture of your grandson walking in the grass. 🙂 You have inspired me to list a bunch of stuff on ebay as soon as I finish commenting! The fact that your husband sold his Harley is HUGE. Very inspiring. Finally, I think the most lovely part of your story is that you and your husband recommitted to each other and to God. What freedom you now enjoy! xo Whitney

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That’s a lovely place! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] our worldly possessions. It was a gradual process. We now can call ourselves minimalists! You can read more  here if you’ve missed that post. We also hit our our third anniversary when we started RVing, […]

    Like

We'd LOVE to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s