Have Less

Written by Ryan





When we left New England we systematically purged nearly everything we owned.  It was an incredibly liberating experience.  Letting go of nearly 30 years-worth of possessions which had followed us from place to place felt like we were shedding weight from our souls.  What was left in the end occupied only two 5’x8’ U-Haul boxes.  Fast forward 3 years, and we’re nearly back to where we were before.  It’s amazing how things accumulate when you’re living the typical 9 to 5 lifestyle.  Our goal now is to shed all of our unnecessary things again, only this time we need to fit what’s left into the storage space of a camper van.


The plan will be to consolidate our belongings down to the point where we have what we need and nothing more.  Simply the things we truly enjoy (I ain’t getting rid of my bikes…), and what we need to survive on the road.  As I’ve said before, our plans are constantly evolving, but the main ideas are thus:

  1. Digitize it – if it’s a hard copy that can be scanned, ripped, captured, or uploaded, then it will be. Pictures, CDs, DVDs, books, important documents, etc.  These can all be digitized and held on a thumb drive.
  2. If it’s not something you would bring camping consider tossing it. Nothing comes to mind better than kitchen appliances.  I can’t see using a food processor or a waffle maker in a camper van.  Throw it in the Craigslist pile.
  3. If you can see some future purpose for it, store it. I’ve spent a lifetime accumulating tools.  Every time I’ve had a moment of weakness and gotten rid of one I’ve regretted it.  We’ll likely keep things like my tools, and Sarah’s pottery wheel in storage for the time being… though, we may change our minds as the time to go gets closer.
  4. If you use it daily, what’s the least of it you can get by with? Clothes, kids toys, kitchen utensils, bedding, etc.  We’ve already taken all the ‘extra’ kitchen utensils and put them in a box under the stairs.  So far we’ve pulled a few things back out, but for the most part it’s all remained untouched.  That’s a good indication that it’s not necessary.  Same with clothes.  If we haven’t worn it in a month, or two, donate it.

We’ve still got 10 months to go in this rental, so we’re weeding our things out slowly.  I expect when we get closer to the go date we’ll be tossing things pel mel.

Ideas on how to consolidate your stuff?  Comment below, I’d love to hear about it.

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