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.
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.
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.