Today is “Launch Day” – a term in the RV community that refers to the day you start living full time in your RV. Today is the day we will be moving our RV out of our driveway and into the local RV campground where we will be living. We’re only going about 10 miles away, but it’s the beginning of a huge change in our lifestyle. We leased a storage unit for the things we weren’t ready to part with or things we would absolutely need if for some reason this doesn’t work out and we end up back in an apartment or house. For everything else – we have purged, donated, sold, given away and even trashed so much stuff. It’s a little sad how much stuff we had to go through – not sad because of what we were getting rid of, but rather because there was so much stuff that we’ve been holding on to – and moving from place to place – that we don’t even use, want or enjoy.
I have to say when it comes to getting rid of things, the military community is the way to go! There is a Facebook page for the local military wives here and several times I was able to just post a picture of something we were getting rid of, and within minutes I would have another wife contacting me to arrange a time to come get it. People love getting stuff for free!! We’ve been so very blessed and have been on the receiving end of free stuff so many times, so we were happy to pay it forward. And it couldn’t be easier than posting a picture and then having someone show up to haul away whatever we were getting rid of.
The little stuff that wasn’t worth the time to post online, things that didn’t make it in our multiple runs to charity, or things we decided against keeping at the last minute ended up out at the curb for Bulk Pick Up Day. Living on post, one of the great benefits is that every single week a large truck comes around and picks up all the bulk items that you are getting rid of. Furniture, household items, etc – things that don’t go in the regular trash or recycling. It’s wonderful! Just set it out by the curb and the next day it’s hauled off for you!
We set a bunch of stuff out late last night and even before we went to bed, people were going through it finding goodies. First thing this morning, there were ladies out there digging through boxes and pulling out all sorts of odds and ends before the bulk truck showed up. It’s like a free yard sale!! I do love a good yard sale, so I can appreciate the excitement. It was also fun to see some of the things going to a new home. I hope they enjoy it all!
After the Pile O’ Stuff had been picked up, I looked out and instantly felt relief. Like a huge weight had just been lifted from my shoulders. I no longer want to feel owned by my stuff. We say we own our stuff, but really it ends up owning us. The more we have, the more we have to clean, to organize, to find a place for. It’s a never ending cycle that takes up so much time. Time we could be spending traveling, exploring, creating family memories, or being creative. It’s very freeing to let it go!
We’ve moved several times and it’s always a lot of work, but never as much as this. Before, there were always boxes of things we kept “just in case” or things that got stuck in a drawer or closet just because there was room. It didn’t matter if we had 15 coats and jackets for 3 people even though we lived in Texas – we’d just move them from one closet in one house to another closet in the new house. Moving into the RV has forced us to really look at every single thing we own and examine whether or not it is necessary or truly gives us joy. There is only so much room to put things, so we have to make sure we bring the right things.
Hubby and I have had several conversations about various items as we’ve been trying to decide what to take. We got really tickled at ourselves when we were going through one of our kitchen drawers. He would hold up a utensil and I would say “yes” or “no” to keeping it, or we’d talk about what we used it for.
It went something like this:
Ice cream scoop? Of course, we love ice cream!
Cookie dough scoop? I use that every time I make cookies or muffins
Small spatula? I use that to get the last bit of the mayo out of the jar
Wait! Couldn’t we just use a SPOON for all of those things? How ever will we survive without a cookie dough or ice cream scoop?? Just kidding! Of course, let’s do it!
We do not need a ton of gadgets and utensils that only serve one purpose when we can have a multi-purpose spoon that takes up less space!
This past week during homeschool, we talked about refugees and people in other countries. We looked at pictures of “tent cities” where families (often multiple families) so often live. We talked about how fortunate we are to have shelter, clean running water, and an abundance of food. As we were planning this adventure, there might have been moments that we wondered if we could really be happy going from our 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house into less than 300 square foot with 1 bath, but the reality is – so many people around the world would love to live like we are about to live. It’s all about perspective.
That perspective is something that I hope remains in the front of our minds for the next couple of years as we choose to live life more simply. I hope that every time we feel a surge of discontentment…as we get impatient having to wait for the bathroom…as we feel annoyed at the lack of counter space – I hope those moments will be reminders to PRAY. I want those moments to be reminders to thank God for all that we have been given, and to pray for all those people around the world who are living with so much less.
I pray that we will truly find that having an abundant life has nothing to do with how much stuff we have. Instead, I hope we will experience that abundance through LIVING our life – enjoying family time, meeting new friends, serving others, seeing God’s creation and exploring this amazing world and all it has to offer.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
~ Matthew 6:19-21
Here we go!