Living Lightly

One of the minimalist ideologies that most deeply resonates with me is the idea of “living lightly.”

For some, this might mean traveling the world with just a backpack that contains all your worldly possessions. For others, it means downsizing significantly (which of course means different things to different folks!). It’s another one of those terms that varies based on the person, and I’m still learning what it looks like to live my life lightly.

But I like think of it as the feeling of being on vacation and living out of a suitcase.  I love arriving somewhere new, unpacking my small pile of clothes in the hotel closet and living light for a few days. It’s a lot easier to get dressed in the morning, choose makeup & accessories and go because I am not burdened by choice. Perhaps, for me at least, it’s one of those things that makes vacation a little bit more relaxing and stress-free.

Husband and I recently returned from an amazing trip out to Oregon. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it (picture proof below)! Even though we packed a lot into our 5 days, including 3 different hotels, it felt great to throw a “just right” amount of things into my suitcase and jet off to the next place. Now that’s living lightly. And to me, the freedom of it is utterly addicting.

DSC_0874
This friendly bee let me get super close with my fancy new camera! Thanks, bee.

While I LOVE seeing new places, I’ve never been a fan of the actual “getting there” part. In fact, I used to have to pop a Valium in order to get on a plane at all. A couple of years ago, I felt led to work on that. Lucky for me, Husband was traveling a lot for work back then so I had the opportunity. I was able to go with him on a few trips and we had a lot of weddings to go to that year as well; many of which were out of town.

This was well before my minimalist journey began, but to be honest, I think all the traveling we did taught me my first minimalist lesson about the joy of living lightly (although I didn’t know it at the time!) I also learned that there’s really no better way to get over a fear than to jump right into it and just do it. Like, a lot.

I still feel some tinges of nerves before a long-ish flight. But feeling relaxed on our flights to and from Oregon was glorious! It’s an incredible feeling to be on the other side of a fear that was once so crippling.

And even though I can’t declare complete victory over travel fears after this one trip, I now have some major wanderlust. This probably sounds crazy to some people, but I’ve never actually thought this fear was something I could get over; that I’d actually feel free to GO.

And the idea of traveling more has me thinking more about just how lightly I might be willing/able to live.

This past weekend, Husband and I went to a Tiny House Festival just east of Atlanta in Decatur. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE the spirit of Tiny House living.

Buying it outright; not living life with mortgage debt hanging over your head…ability to move freely (if you have a tow-able tiny house on wheels!)…a decision to live with ONLY what you really need because there’s literally no room to pile up un-needed and un-used STUFF. Freedom!

But actually LIVING in a tow-able space is another thing altogether. (Especially since we NEED a king size bed, and we have a menagerie of animals to consider.) But this is part of the reason I wanted to stand in one in real life! It’s the reason we stood in line to get into the festival for like 30 minutes, then stood in line for probably another hour (in the oppressive Georgia heat) just to get to walk through 2 of the 8-10 tiny houses on site.

Sadly, once you’re in there, you really don’t have time to linger for very long, or get a real feel for what it might be like since there are a bunch of strangers in there all trying to see it too. But I’m still glad we went; it was fun to see them in person!

At the end of it all, I’m still not sure I could live in one forever. But man, it would be fun to live REALLY light for 6 months to a year and have the freedom to explore more of God’s beauty with a tiny house in tow.

In any case, I can’t wait to travel again. I am still building up the courage to go overseas, but in the meantime, I have a whole laundry list of beautiful places I want to visit in the ‘ol US of A.

  • Washington State, including Mt. Ranier/state parks, the San Juan Islands and Washington wine country
  • California Wine Country: central coast, Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma
  • A road trip up hwy 101 and/or the PCH…all the way from Seattle to San Diego
  • Southern Oregon coast, Crater Lake
  • The Coast of Maine/New England
  • Martha’s Vineyard/Cape Cod
  • Glacier National Park in Montana

I’m sure I could go on and on. I’m in love with nature, what can I say…it’s always been so spiritually uplifting to me. And the coast, obviously. SIGH. For now, I will say that I’m very thankful for our home, our animals and sleeping in our own bed. Even if it is hotter than the pits of hell outside. 🙂

Here’s to living lighter and lighter,

S

 

 

 

Woof, Wag, Meow, Purrrrrr

It’s time to tidy PET SUPPLIES!  This is not a category in Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” but as any pet owner will tell you, it accumulates just like human stuff does!

pets
Don’t throw away our stuff, Mom. Or feed us.  Whatever.

I’m including everything that we use to care for our pets in this category, and yes, there is some overlap to other categories.  Because of that, I’ve already thought through and discarded some items.  Everyone was a little concerned that I was about to go through their stuff.   Here’s what’s on the list:

  • Pet Beds and Blankets
  • Toys
  • Scratching Posts
  • Pet Stain Cleaners
  • Grooming Supplies
  • Litter Box/Related Supplies
  • Clothing
  • Harnesses/Leashes
  • Food/Treats
  • Pet Carriers/Travel Items
  • Miscellaneous Items (For us, this includes an Exercise Pen and a set of Doggy Stairs)

That’s a lot of stuff.  But like I said, some items overlapped with other categories and I already assessed those.  Examples: Food/Treats (threw away old stuff on pantry day), Pet Stain Cleaners, and Litter Box Stuff (live in the Laundry room and are all being kept/used).

As for everything else, there was a good size pile of items to get rid of.  There were also several sub-categories where I kept everything (like scratching posts since we only have two).  I am going to try and take this stuff to a local animal shelter instead of Goodwill. Thankfully, everyone now seems happy with my decisions.  Gosh, I love these little ladies!

While this post is dedicated to pet supplies, I wanted to briefly discuss two additional miscellaneous categories on my list that aren’t getting their own blogs.

One of them is listed in Marie Kondo’s books and she calls it “Things I kept just because”. It would include items like key chains or figurines.  You’ll come across these things as you begin to go through your stuff, and most likely they’ll either get kept or discarded as you find them.  When I came across stuff like this whilst tidying, I usually made a decision about it right then and there rather than putting it aside as part of this random category.  I only kept three figurines that I found while tidying. Ironically, one is a dog, one is a cat and the other one was chewed up by our cats. “Pet Supplies” indeed.

Lastly, I added a category of Musical Instruments and Accessories since Husband has a lot of that stuff.  He is considering selling some things and will go through those items at his own pace, so I will not be blogging about them here.  But at least they are all currently stored in the same place!  And organized!  🙂

And that brings me to the topic for next time: Sentimental Items.  The final category.

Until then,

S