When my husband and I were first married we had dreams of grander. We wanted to be able to live in many different places – we just didn’t know where. We loved New York and Denver. We even went there on our honeymoon! Upon arriving back from 2 weeks of newly wed bliss we joyfully opened our front door to … dun dun duuuunnnnn…stuff. Many wonderful people gave us so many wedding presents. Our tiny living room was full! Instead of being able to enjoy each other we began unpack and taking trips to the dumpster to get rid of all the boxes. Not brilliant.
About six months after we were married we had some opportunities open up in New Mexico. We were gonna be able to work on what we wanted but also get to be closer to friends. We began packing. I wish I could say this was a joyful time but all I remember is so much stuff and so much cardboard. I had to sort through everything, find boxes, then pack what I needed. I would forget where I’d packed certain items that I had packed too soon or would find more stuff hidden on shelves that I just “had to bring.” It was a nightmare.
My parents had agreed to help us drive down there. Two cars & a UHAUL truck full of stuff! It took us seemingly forever to load everything into the truck. Then once in New Mexico we then had to UNLOAD. Instead of being able to go out to dinner or hang out with our new friends we had to unpack. For ever. Well maybe not forever but for several days. Our pristine apartment soon became cluttered with furniture that didn’t quite fit and pictures that seemed a little out of place. It was technically all our stuff put felt oddly unsettled in our new space.
This is when we began to evaluate what we had:
Did we really need to keep that plate because aunt whoever would be offended if we threw it out? Then why would she give it to us in the first place?
At the time I was vegan and disliked to cook. So why did I need 3 roasting pans?
Were those files of paper actually necessary or could the essentials be made digital?
We began streamlining.
If someone needed dishes we would keep a set of 4 and give the other pieces in our 16 set away. When others would comment that they liked the art on our wall we asked them if they wanted it. Not only did it show who was complementing honestly but it helped our apartment to feel a little more like us.
Once we began getting rid of stuff it became addicting. We were always on the lookout for people who needed items we had and didn’t use. We also began selling extra clothes or furniture to the local consignment stores. This provided money (something we didn’t have a lot of) for bills or even date nights!
We looked around our empty place and realized that our apartment was far too large for what we actually owned. We decided to downsize to a 350sq foot apartment for a third of the rent we were paying. That’s right – MUCHO savings.
This move only took one truck and our sturdy Toyota Corolla. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was this time around. Although it still felt ridiculous for 2 people to have so much, we were able to unpack fairly quickly and go out to dinner with friends after. It was a step in the right direction.
Early questions we learned to ask ourselves:
– Do you really need what you have?
– Do you really use what you have?
– Could someone you know benefit from what you own and rarely use?
– Is there something you own that you could sell and use the money for a hobby that is actually important to you?
– Is it something you find beautiful or useful? Then get rid of it.
(This is definitely a stolen quote so if you know who said it originally – comment below!)
Stuff takes time and money to move and maintain. I had to view the things I owned this way. Some where important to me but most were not they weighed me down and kept me from living free.
Second move and same state. Already my husband and I felt more like us and not like an idea of what we should be. Which was important because soon two would become three…