This section of dealing with stuff is based around the smaller stuff in your life. You will also find that it requires easier decision making paradigms.
If you have decided to keep your house, condo, apartment while you are away traveling around the globe, well then, this decision is easy. You leave your stuff right where it is. See, that was easy!
If you decide to downsize, some more relevant decisions need to be made. First question, do you keep anything? If you’re like me and have been a bunch of places, the answer to this question is yes. Realistically, by the time that you have made it to the middle of your years, you have collected a certain amount of things that are not disposable. However, you’ll be amazed at just how little stuff this actually is. Seriously, it’s not as much as you think it is.
It needs to be noted at this point, I hate junk. I hate clutter. It’s probably left over military living or something. Maybe it’s a side-effect of 20 years of traveling for work. Stuff that doesn’t have a specific place and need is junk. Junk needs to be disposed of. It is my opinion that if you are going to traveling, even domestically, for any amount of time, you need to develop a less is more strategy.
For most people, separating themselves from piles of possessions is much more of an emotional issue than it is anything else. It is a capitalist mantra that people need stuff. People that have stuff are well off. More stuff is more good. That way of thinking is, once again in my personal opinion, a bunch of rubbish.
Once of dispose of your home’s furniture, there will be a big pile of stuff leftover. That stuff, is the stuff we are talking about. The furniture in any home can basically be replaced with no great loss of equity later on. It is also a good source of extra travel money. If you have family heirlooms, or antique pieces of furniture, that is a different matter altogether. On that specific note I would say store those items for later on. Usually, antique furniture equity cannot be recouped later on and should be retained. Otherwise, dump the furniture.
That pile of randomness left in your apartment or house is what now remains of your life, to date. You will find that probably 20 percent of that pile is actually stuff that says something about your years on this planet. The other 80 percent is just stuff. The stuff, that’s what you want to be separating yourself from. This point, right here, is where many people emotionally fall down.
Everybody has that friend. That friend that has a house full of stuff. Fancy painted signs on the wall, little stuffed do-dads in every corner. Different sets of dishes for different days of the week. Travelers are NOT these people. Don’t attempt to be these people. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll understand that all of this “stuff” is junk that can be expunged from your life. If you truthfully, emotionally can’t bring yourself to part with your knickknacks, you may want to rethink a traveling and adventurous lifestyle. It’s probably not for you.
For the rest of you, Trust me when I say that a well appointed two bedroom house will fit comfortable in a 10-foot by 10-foot storage unit when you’re down downsizing. I know it will. Personally, I think 10×10 is a little too big, but it’s a standard size in the storage unit business.
As far as disposal goes: I say either list it or just give it away. You would be amazed how many of your friends will take knickknacks from you. (More stuff is more good.) The listing side is also easy. There’s Craigslist, Facebook, A dozen stuff selling apps, and the newspaper want ads for starters. Once you cut the emotional cord, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to actually get rid of.
Moral, less is more. The emotional freedom of not having to look after your stuff is worth the effort made. Less is more. Experience will always outweigh stuff. Always, and every time.
That’s my two cents.
Now, go on. Get out there.
One house in a 10×10. Probably should have dumped the bike, but we can’t all live by our convictions, can we?