Full steam ahead. The plan is to list our cottage at the end of the month. As we part with larger things, we keep asking ourselves, do we give this away or try to sell it? We’ve sold some through Facebook. It’s easy to post there and things go fairly quickly. On the other hand, it’s like a part time job responding to the messages. Meanwhile, you never know who will actually show up. Many ask for crazy favors, like paying later or delivering the item far away. It’s like a box of chocolates…
So far we’ve given away a few big things to family, including one lightly used treadmill. Yes, we stubbornly kept that treadmill in our tiny house, touching our king size bed, in our 7’x12’ bedroom. It did double duty as a bed rail and nightstand. I am not kidding. Minimal living does not come naturally to me. It’s more of an intellectual exercise.
We’ve given away a throwing wheel, a crystal chandelier, a 1948 enamal kitchen-sink basin/cabinet, and some very large pieces of artwork that never found a place on these tiny walls. The next phase is parting with three bureaus, a small refrigerator, an armchair, bookshelves and a stupidly large kiln. Do we call Habitat for Humanity or try to make a few dollars? A friend and minimalist once told me it made her angry to sell things for pennies on the dollar compared with what she paid, and she felt magnanimous giving them away. Food for thought.
In 2016, we downsized from 1600 square feet to 458. We dreamed of downsizing in 2010, but were essentially trapped in our home by the economy. While biding our time, we began giving things away. Occasionally we sold something, but that involves pushing beyond our natural laziness… so you can imagine how often that worked out.
For over five years we donated and more than once the thrift shop attendant asked sympathetically if someone had died. We are not hoarders, I swear. I have no idea how we acquired so much. I think we just kept bringing things in and forgetting to send out the detritus. Attics are both a blessing and a curse.
In the end we gave away about 80% of what we had in that house. Of course, when the movers dumped the remaining 20% into our new tiny home it was overwhelming. One of the movers said, “I don’t understand why you’re doing this, your old house is so nice.” As I climbed over the treadmill and the food processor to get to the bathroom, I even asked myself, “What have we done?”
We now find ourselves on the verge of a new adventure with a cross-country move looming. Since we do not care to spend the equivelant of a down payment for a house on moving a bunch of old stuff, hi ho hi ho we must minimize again, I know! This blog has waited in the wings. Perhaps it’s more about minimizing than it is about tiny living. I never dreamed I would be a minimalist…but here we go.
Minimalizing and going Tiny? No easy feat. We Americans start acquiring from the second we are born. I heard tales of the Great Depression from my grandparents and, “waste not want not,” blah blah blah. I somehow bought into that cling to every scrap of old aluminum foil mentality. You never know when you might need something, right? Unfortunately, my reality was that when I needed that thing I knew I still had, I could never find it among all of my things. When I began giving our things away I found three skill saws! In fact, I found multiples of almost everything. Going through old stuff is beyond tedious, and yet so rewarding in the end. I challenge you to let all that old stuff go and open up your world.
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