I’m Downsizing Even More!

The good thing about moving is that I am forced to let go of things. I am moving tomorrow, and I plan to have two suitcases, one day pack, a rolling card, and a rolling cooler to take to my new place. I might be staying up all night in order to accomplish this, but I am determined to get this done by tomorrow at 1pm when my son is coming to help me move.

For the past year and 4 months, I have been trading my services of organizing, cleaning, and gardening in order to rent a room. I have no car. I have a bicycle. I have a few friends who can either give me rides, or I borrow their car when I really need the use of a vehicle. I buy 70% of my food from the local farmers market or straight from a local farmer, and am working on increasing that to 90%. 95% of my food I buy at a discount because of my good relationships with the farmers.

My only expense besides food and a few supplies I need once in a while, is my cell phone bill which is $50 a month. Therefore, my expenses are now about $300 a month. I charge from $15-$50 an hour for my services, so I work any where from 6 to 20 hours per month in order to pay my basic expenses. I promote myself very little, and get most of my work from clients who hire me from time to time. I have no regular work.  Rather than be discouraged about my lack of work, I am happy. If people call me, I can’t resist working for them, even if I don’t need the money. So when I don’t have work offered to me, I have more time to meditate, pray, write, research, work on various enjoyable, meaningful projects, and spend time with my family.

Some day, I do want to make more money so that I can develop things like a land trust/intentional community on our Wellspring Community land. But for now, I experience the abundance of free time as a blessing and a kind of sabbatical.

I have moved four times in the past sixteen months, and my time at my present place is over. The last place I stayed started with a trial period of one month, and lasted a year. This place the boundaries were clear–I could stay here for two months. Normally my friends have foreign students stay in their guest room, but since they needed extended house-sitting help, they decided that it would work for me to be in that room for a relative short time.

I was going to work really hard to find a new place when I realized that I needed to leave my last place. I dreamed of making a nice flyer, putting out ads, making a blog, and other creative things. Instead, I blurted out to a client that I needed a place to stay and could I stay with them. She said, “Let me talk to Steve.” She came out five minutes later and said, “Yes, you can stay here for two months.” Well, that was easy!

I thought for sure I would have to do the same in order to find my next gig. But I kept resisting actively looking for a place. So once again, when I was visiting a friend and we were having a wonderful conversation, I blurted out that I would like to stay at her house along with her husband and baby. She said she was actually thinking of the same thing. I told her that if I came, I wanted to get down to living out of a back pack. I have not downsized that much yet, but I really need to keep paring down. Okay, maybe I should go to sleep and just get up early and start fresh.

I have heard stories from minimalists about how downsizing is a process, and how it takes quite a long time to sort through those last items that seem hard to get through. I am finding this to be true. I have three big boxes of things to give away, and about 5 boxes to store. I do have about four boxes of books, a box of summer clothes, and some tape masters I am storing else where. But really, I am finally getting to a place where I am only keeping what I really need and what gives me joy.

Living lightly has transformed my life for the better in so many ways. I invite you to do the same!



I’m Downsizing and Getting Organized Even More!

I keep downsizing. I was able to fit most of my possessions in my bedroom which is fairly small. I have some stuff in storage, and some stuff at my former husband’s home. But I love to keep letting go of stuff and seeing how simply I can live.

I was down to just one box of papers to go through, and I was able to get rid of about 20%. I am in the process of re-writing my book, Travels to the East, and I was delighted to find some more material that will be invaluable for that project. I found a journal of when I lived for a year with my now former husband, Cliff, on only $30 a month in 1975. I think that will be a book as well.

My goal is to get to a point where I can have just a suit case, file box, guitar, and a few other items that are easy to transport so that I can be more flexible in where I live. When I lived in San Diego last summer, I did quite well with about that much. I can do it! I will put some stuff in storage which I am sharing with my former husband, so the cost is minimal.

I hope that you will get some time during the holiday season to do some downsizing. It is so good for the soul.



Encouragement to live more simply

It is so easy to get discouraged with the amount of bad news that is so ever present in the media. Yet I find it encouraging that CNN hosts an annual event that honors heroes who are doing amazing things to contribute to the world.

If you are on the path to living more simply so that you can do more to contribute to the well-being of yourself, your family, and your world, you are a hero to me! Tell me about what you are doing to simplify your life. I would love to hear about it. Here is the article.