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First, SIMPLIFY.

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  • First, SIMPLIFY.

    Living in a Tiny House is a big part of my everyday daydreaming. I’d love to sell my inefficient old farm house and go tiny. I watch tv shows about building tiny homes. I read all I can about the process and I cheer on the people who successfully follow this dream.

    BUT - as an American with the all too common problem of being in possession of TOO MUCH STUFF, I don’t know how I can realistically make this dream happen. I know I need to downsize and simplify. My life is busy, my kids are growing, my husband is working constant overtime to throw money at our debt and I am struggling to get rid of all the excess STUFF that seems to be occupying every nook and cranny of our 2400 square foot home.

    I have yard sales, sell at flea markets, donate to goodwill, and there is always just MORE STUFF. My attic is full. My living room is full. My bedroom is full. My dining room is full.....you get the picture. There’s too much everything and it is everywhere: Overflowing closets, shelves, drawers, Storage bins and baskets and boxes.....you name the place, there is stuff crammed in to it.

    I have health issues and these limit my physical and mental energy. But I keep trying.
    How do people who managed to get rid of it all do it?
    This isn’t just a rant. I’m really hoping someone will read this and TELL ME WHAT TO DO.
    How did you pare it all down?

    My husband and I know people who’ve lost everything in a house fire. It was devastating to the family but we are the littlest bit jealous of how simple that made their lives afterward. Does that sound awful? We’ve lived in our house for 15 years and have raised kids in it. It’s been a real home but in a lot of ways it feels like a cruel joke of a trap. It’s so packed to the gills with STUFF that I am overwhelmed at the prospect of getting rid of it all.

    But that is exactly what needs to happen to simplify our lives and go tiny.

    Please help!

  • #2
    Sondic I think you're going to find a lot of people here with the same issue. I spent the first 14 years of my adult life in the Marine Corps and during that entire period of my life I could fit every single worldly possession I owned in my small compact car, and I mean everything. At the time I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Shortly after getting out of the military I purchased my first home and started collecting "stuff". Before I knew it I had upgraded the size of my house and my "stuff" three separate times. Each time I got a larger house I filled it with more "stuff" until I arrived at the point that I'm at now where I just want it all gone and I want to go tiny and live without all the mental and physical clutter of all this "stuff".

    That being said, I've been selling off things on eBay, Offer Up, and Mercari. I've also been donating things I couldn't justify selling and throwing away things I couldn't justify donating. It's not a quick and easy process however, slowly but surely I'm getting closer to living my tiny house dream as I eliminate all of this "stuff". If anyone has a quick and easy answer to this issue I'd love to hear it however I think the only answer is to just keep plugging away at it day after day until you arrive at the point where you have only what you need. Just think how long it took you to acquire all of that "stuff" so I wouldn't expect to be able to pare down overnight. Unless of course in the case of a house fire as you mentioned.

    By the way, I keep using the word "stuff" because your post reminded me of a George Carlin (the comic) bit from many years ago where he says, "A house is a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff". It's crazy but it really describes how we are as Americans when it comes to acquiring "stuff". I actually just found the bit I'm referring to on YouTube. It's a 5-minute video titled, "A Place For My Stuff" where he really hits the nail on the head regarding our irrational behavior when it comes to collecting "stuff". Below is video I'm referring to, take 5 minutes to watch it to really appreciate just how ridiculous it is that we've gotten to the point as a society where we have such an unhealthy obsession with "stuff":

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    • #3
      I hear what you are saying. I understand. With the commercialism aside, many of us grew up with money challenges and this causes us to hang onto everything, 'just in case'. But it sounds like you are at the point where you realize that your 'stuff' is not only NOT making you happy but it is actually making you suffer.
      In my opinion, the thing I hear loudest is that you are doing this alone.
      Does you family feel this way? Are you in harmony with your desire to simplify? Do they see having less stuff as a 'freedom' and a means to more opportunities, like you do? Do they agree that if you health is declining, that NOW is the best time to work on this issue, while you still have the energy and the opportunity to turn it all around and enjoy a simple life together?

      It may sound very dramatic and some may not understand, but I hear that you really want this and you really want help.
      I think it is imperative you and your CHILDREN especially understand that this is a major family lifestyle change for the better.
      If you all are of like-mind you can ABSOLUTELY do this!!! But 'you' means all of you. Both parents and all the kids. All in.

      ***Keep in mind, it took time to get where you are. It will take time to get where you want to be.***

      I love helping people simplify. I was doing this before the KONMARI method became popular. I am just good and organizing and setting goals.
      I'm happy to help you. ☺️

      p.s. I'm one of six kids; we had no money and we saved everything. I believed that having my big 2500 sf house was the symbol of being grown up and financially secure. It's all a part of a journey that many of us are having at the same time.
      You can do this!
      Last edited by NorthernSoutherner; 06-09-2019, 04:12 PM.

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      • #4
        Chuck, that is one of my favorites of Carlin's. Thanks for finding it.

        Sonic, When we cease to be who we are and become our possessions, it's time for transformation, and the metaphor of fire is apt as fire transforms and can purify and clarify what our soul needs most. It does take time. My life for approximately six months last year after my parents died was spent clearing out their things, sorting through and packing up their possessions for family, donation and things to throw away was challenging, heart wrenching, exhausting, emotionally and physically draining. But I wasn't alone doing by myself. My siblings helped when they could and that made all the difference.

        It can be done. How do you eat an elephant? A little bit at a time.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TinyHouseGirl View Post
          Chuck, that is one of my favorites of Carlin's. Thanks for finding it.

          Sonic, When we cease to be who we are and become our possessions, it's time for transformation, and the metaphor of fire is apt as fire transforms and can purify and clarify what our soul needs most. It does take time. My life for approximately six months last year after my parents died was spent clearing out their things, sorting through and packing up their possessions for family, donation and things to throw away was challenging, heart wrenching, exhausting, emotionally and physically draining. But I wasn't alone doing by myself. My siblings helped when they could and that made all the difference.

          It can be done. How do you eat an elephant? A little bit at a time.
          You bet! As soon as I read the original post by Sondic that Carlin bit was the first thing that came to mind and I think it's been well over 10 years since I heard it but it really made an impact as it's so true. And yes, "It can be done. How do you eat an elephant? A little bit at a time."

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