Like so many middle-class kids born in the early 80’s, my childhood was a comfortable one.
I never went without, and if anything, I unknowingly lived a life of excess. Toys, makeup, magazines, clothes, shoes. You name it, I had it in surplus.
But I somehow never thought that I had enough (do you know that feeling?)
With these childhood habits deeply ingrained, I became an adult with a cluttered life. I shopped when I was bored and bought new items even when they didn’t add any value. Oh, and I was $9,000 in purely consumer debt.
How did this happen? I had been working full-time since I was a teenager, where on earth did all of that money go?!
I always thought that the life I dreamed of living was just out of reach. I used to say “if only I had more money… if only I had more time.”
Turns out, I just needed less stuff.
It didn’t happen all at once, but I adjusted my shopping habits and slowly paid off my debt. I began only spending money on experiences and items that lit me up. I donated and sold items that were just taking up space in my life. I politely asked my friends and family to stop buying me gifts at every holiday.
In 2016 my husband and I made our boldest decision yet to see how happy we could be while living with less. We spent a year and a half selling most of our possessions and our sweet little home.
In January 2018 we moved into a custom tiny home on wheels, which we lovingly named Tessa. We now travel North America full-time. We wanted travel to be the basis of our life, rather than something we got to do a couple of weeks a year.
I don’t think that every person needs to “sell it all” and live on the road to receive the benefits of a simplified life. This is our version of life on our own terms, and yours might look very different!
But think about this:
- How does your physical clutter get in the way of living a life you really love?
- What would you do if money were no object?
- What would you do if you had more time?
- What void are you trying to fill with the unnecessary stuff that you buy?
These are the questions I asked myself on my journey to a simpler, happier life and they’re the same kind of questions I’ll be asking you along your journey!