For years, I struggled with the amount of stuff I had. No matter how much I got rid of, it was never enough. There was so much stuff, and it was controlling my life. When the girls and I decided to become full-time travelers we knew this would have to change. We needed to become true minimalists.
I could have put all of our things in storage but I decided that would have left me feeling weighed down not to mention the cost of storing everything. This momma is all about saving money any way I can so paying for storage was not an option. My soon-to-be ex-husband at the time offered to keep some of the smaller things that meant the most to us at his place. How sweet, right? Keep reading to find out why I shouldn’t have believed him.
A lot of the things we owned held painful memories. With the end of my marriage and blended family, I figured when we did decide to finally settle down again, we could start completely over with new things.
Each girl got a small box where they had to fit everything they wanted to keep. This was easy for the middle child. She is not much of a hoarder. Unfortunately, the oldest really struggled with this. It was an emotional process of going through her things and helping her work through what she truly wanted to keep and what she was willing to donate. It helped to say that a kid in need would be able to play with the toys she donated. In the end, both big girls, minimized their things to fit in their one box.
I started listing the larger household items on Letgo and Craigslist. I sold things for pretty cheap because I figured it was best to just get rid of things as quickly as possible. Still, something didn’t feel quite right. This “stuff” meant a lot to me and selling it seemed to cheapen its value. I definitely could have used the extra money but something was stopping me from feeling good about selling our things.
I took everything on Craigslist and Letgo off and instead posted our stuff to my local Facebook Buy Nothing group. This was a game changer. I knew a lot of the people on there, and it felt good donating our personal items to people who needed them. Slowly, our house became more and more empty. I posted the toddler’s beautiful crib that she slept in for a whopping total of 4 hours. I remember just how beautiful the comforter set I bought was. It had a vintage look and fit perfectly with her shabby chic white crib. A friend of mine, with a nephew on the way, quickly claimed it. She was beyond appreciative and when she came to pick it up, it wasn’t so hard letting it go anymore. It was going to someone who needed it.
The weeks moved quickly and soon we were down to the last few days before we had to be out of our house. Remember how I told you to keep reading to find out why trusting the soon-to-be-ex to hold onto those special items was a bad idea? Here is where that comes into play.
We got into an argument. An argument that started because while I was loading up his van with some of these items, I spotted a box of condoms in his trunk. At the time, our separation was still new, so I was devastated but I still kept my mouth shut. He, on the other hand, realizing he had been “caught”, flipped out.
He stormed off which really pissed me off considering I was the one who should have been butthurt. A few minutes later, he came back to say that the condoms must have been mine. Way to turn that one around buddy.
Anyways, this led to a very pissed off Trippin’ Momma who let him know that he was a freaking deadbeat dad that was once again was trying to lie his way out of a situation. I shouldn’t have said he was a deadbeat dad but I genuinely felt that way, and when we are hurt, we sometimes get diarrhea of the mouth. It happens to me all the freaking time. He left and changed his number and email. Nice!
So, with only a few days left before I had to be out of the house, I loaded up my van and took my entire book collection to the donation bin. It was flippin’ tough! I loved my books, and I didn’t expect to have to let them go. I took the boxes out of the van and placed them in the outdoor bin. That night, a huge thunderstorm rolled in.
In the morning, I drove back to the bin hoping the books were picked up before the thunderstorm from hell hit. They weren’t. Every single book was destroyed. The Twilight collection, my soon-to-be ex at the time had gotten me as a surprise, lay drenched and ruined. I started crying. I don’t mean a little tear or two. I mean absolutely bawling my eyes out. It was too much. Overwhelmed by emotions, I drove back home to a nearly empty house and just sat on the floor.
A day later, we drove away from our home on to our first adventure with pretty much everything we owned in the back of my van. As emotionally taxing as it was, It was unbelievably freeing. It’s been 9 months now, and I can honestly say I do not regret getting rid of anything. Actually, we minimized even more since then when our van was totaled in a crazy car accident. We continue to donate things when they are finished serving their purpose, and we rarely impulse buy anymore. Traveling the world full-time is a great reason to become a minimalist.
Are you overwhelmed by your stuff? Do you often find yourself exhausted by all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years? I challenge you to minimize and see how freeing it is. Comment below with your minimizing stories
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