We did it! We are minimalist, and we own very little. We are strangely proud of it! Now that we have embraced the label of minimalism, I thought I would answer the main big questions. How did we get here? What steps did we take to minimize? And how does RV living and travel fit into the general lifestyle of minimalism?
How did I find minimalism?
To start, I stumbled into minimalism by accident. I watched a documentary called “I am Not Your Guru” featuring Tony Robbins on Netflix. (When you look at the title it is quite funny that this started it all!) The actual movie itself shook "something" loose inside of me. First off, I have always associated a certain level of corniness to Tony Robbins and others like him. I had prejudged something I knew little about solely based on the snippets of popcorn moments I have seen online. After watching the movie, I was moved. He was an expert in pain and the human condition, and he was able to pierce into a person’s emotional walls and get to the root of an issue. I realized I needed to get to the root of my issue. I was unhappy. I had everything the world tells me to have to be happy. I had a 6 figure salary, a beautiful and loving wife, I have a strong faith, and I am blessed with great children. Yet I was unfulfilled and unhappy. I was unchallenged and unsure of how to dig myself out of it.
I decided I would spend a year investing in myself, and I was going to find a path in life that would encourage constant growth. So I took action.
I try to meditate and pray 10 minutes a day
I stopped eating red meat and pork to get physically healthier
I dabbled in pescetarianism and Veganism (I do still eat chicken & fish)
I became more active on a daily basis (workouts, hikes, swims, etc.)
I started to read more and watch TV less
I focused on family time and experiences with the family
I actively try to “delight” every person I come in contact
So, I eventually ordered a book called the “The life changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo. This is not a book on minimalism, but it was a book on organization and how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Marie asks you to hold an item or possession in your hand and see if that item sparks joy! If it does not, you donate it or sell it. If it does spark an inner joyful reaction you organize it. This led me to the concept of minimalism, and I made some rules for myself without forcing my family to take part.
I decided to downsize and declutter my life, both physically and emotionally. I wanted to be purposeful with my possessions, so I developed 5 questions I had to answer before I kept any item.
Does it add a lasting value to my life?
Does it spark joy?
Does it add efficiency?
Will I use it often enough to justify owning it?
Does it have more than one use?
Then I found a book by the Minimalist called “Minimalism, live a meaningful life.” Their meat and potatoes approach to the concept of simplifying really completed my conversion to what I found out to be called minimalism. Eventually my wife jumped on board, and that is when the real adventure began.
What steps did we take?
I had minimized roughly 40% of my possessions before my wife started asking questions and getting on board. When she commit to the concept we started in the order that Marie Kondo suggested in her book. Here is a print out CLICKHERE
This is the best order to emotionally make it through a downsizing, but there are better methods in my experience.
Papers (These are to be prepared to scan and digitally store.)
Miscellany (Kids, kitchen, cleaning supplies, décor, garage, bathroom)
Sentimental Items (These are the hardest, and some must go to digital form.)
Other options include packing all your items up, putting them in the garage, and only pulling from those boxes when you need an item. After 30-60 days donated or sell what is still in the boxes. Bethany and I eventually went room by room. We did a room a week for a couple months. I am not saying it was easy, but by the time we were halfway done we both felt the weight come off of our shoulders. It was amazing.
How does RVing and travel fit into our minimalistic life choice?
Imagine a life with less! Less stress, less debt, less discontent, less clutter, a life with fewer distractions, and ultimately less time away from the people you love! Now rebuild and repurpose your life to a life with more. This means more adventure, more meaning, more purpose, more experiences, while enjoying more time with your family. Our move to tiny living, and minimalism has filled our life with more of what we want, and less of what we do not. We aligned our values with our actions after years of sabotaging our values with an incorrect action or no action at all. The byproduct of all these efforts is we get to experience a more rich life, and share that life with the people we want to invest our time with the most.
ORANGE LETTERS/ITALICS = Interruptions by Scott
PURPLE LETTERS/ITALICS = Interruptions by Bethany