Monday, April 16, 2012
Lessons From Cutting Our Living Space In Half
I just read a great article on Tentblogger.com called "How Much Money Do You Really Need?". Read it. John Saddington makes some really good points. I thought I would join the conversation.
Last August, my wife and I sold our house that had been on the market on and off for about four years. Not surprisingly, we lost our pants in the deal...and then thousands of shirts. Believe it or not, we were really excited to move on, so it didn't bother us a great deal. We had been praying for the house to sell for years.
We had to rent for a while, and found a great apartment. A little pricy, but well worth the budgetary gravity. The only problem....it was about half of the square footage of our house. We weren't afforded the luxury of time to sell everything. It was our choosing to push the sales process for fear it would fall through like our previous offer. After choking at the cost of storage space, my wife and I were faced with a very interesting question and even more interesting answer.
How do you move your family into half the space? Get rid of tons of stuff....lots and lots of stuff.
Like the thirty or forty boxes of books that I took to goodwill. The same books I had considered an extension of my brain for years.
Like all the boxes and boxes of children's clothes and toys. The same clothes and toys we obsessed over just a couple of years before.
Like the treadmill we practically gave away. The same treadmill that I took so much time thinking about and using. The same one I thought I could never, ever give away.
Like the piano we gave away to avoid paying to move it. This is the piano I spent hours banging. The one I used to write some really heart-felt tunes during some very tumultuous times in my life.
Like the furniture we unloaded for practically nothing.
And my grill....my Weber grill.
I didn't care. We didn't care. It was just stuff. If anything, I was disgusted with myself for spending so much money on things that were meaningless to me at the end of the day. I vowed to never make those mistakes again.
We really don't buy much anymore. If I can't take it with me or it isn't a needed wardrobe item, I don't buy it. We focus a lot more on living within a budget and spending money on experiences rather than stuff.
I've learned how to use the library more instead of buying books. If I do buy books, I do it through the Kindle store, so we have multiple backed-up copies that take up zero space. I stopped buying running shoes. When my current ones wear out.....really wear out, I plan on getting something even more minimalistic.
To be honest, I love this lifestyle so much more than the messy, frantic, cluttered one we use to live. Simple is good. When you spend your money in the right ways, you don't need as much.
Could you cut your living space in half?