Old Diary

Need less stuff

For a smart guy I’m a slow learner!  Pure and simple.  I’m a slow learner.  Repeat with me:  “I’m a slow learner.”

One might think that downsizing from a house/office with 6500 sq ft to 230 sq ft, and then, so what if we bought an RV just a little bigger and now live in 300 sq ft — that in the process of all that downsizing that I’d learn my lesson.  But I stand here (or actually I’m sitting here typing away…) once again facing the reality that I have to get out of the RV and sort out the basement so that we’re ready to move in a week.  I hate it because — just like a house — the basement storage area can be just as unsightly as the unfinished basement in a sticks & bricks home!  In a real basement you may have to duck your head on the way down — I have to get down on all fours to get into the storage bay doors.  In a real basement things may be scattered around helter-skelter — and our storage bays are pretty helter-skelter-y too!  Organizing a basement — whether a stationary one or one on wheels — never seems to be any fun, or the least bit rewarding — it’s something you have to do from time to time.

sliding-drawersA year and a half ago I thought we’d have those sliding trays installed in our basement.  But after I thought about it a little, I realized that the drawers sit proud of the basement floor far enough that we’d lose a good 30% of storage space in the process.  The “cost” in lost space was more than I was willing to suffer and I cancelled that plan.  Good idea, not good implementation. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I have seen RV’ers who have made their own sliding trays, but unlike the RV’s where that has worked nicely, our bay floors are not flush with the bottom of the door, so we’d still have to lose a lot of space — once again torpedoing my goal for more organized storage.

The big problem though — and I guess I’ve known it all along — is that we simply carry too much ‘stuff’ along with us.  I’m sure that other RV’er share the trait but there is something psychological about getting rid of so much stuff — and then remembering what it was like when you lived in sticks & bricks and all the maintenance and breakdowns you lived thorugh in your life and you just think you need to carry some of those tools and gadgets along with you even if you are rarely going to use them.

I carry two small 10 ton jacks — just in case I ever have a flat.  But that’s stupid.  If I ever have a flat I’m not going to change the tire myself.  And if I have something else that needs fixing I’m not all that handy with a wrench — so getting underneath the coach is not like it’s something ought to be doing!  I think I’ll give them to Michael — he could probably put them to use.

I carry a 140′ long water hose.  Why?  I don’t know.  I bought it when we lived in the school and we had only one water bib outside.  I didn’t want to sell it or give it away, so I brought it along just in case we ever were forced to park more than 50′ from a drinking water source.  Of course in 5 years that has never happened, and I have probably spent as much in diesel fuel carrying that extra weight around as the hose cost in the first place.

I know RV’ers who carry a whole machine shop in their RV — some of them are actually handy with tools and save themselves a lot of money on repair costs — doing a lot of their own maintenance.  That’s not me.  I’m a klutz with a capital “K”.

Even inside the coach I keep things I don’t need.  Computer cables — it seems that I’m not satisfied with a spare this, and that; I suspect that there are some cables I might have 4 or 5 of — I just don’t know it.  I threaten to take a day or two and just sort out all my cable and get rid of the excess, but in 5 years I’ve not gotten around to it.  Maybe in S. Texas?  Don’t hold your breath.

I’ve been known to procrastinate. When we were living in the apartment on 14th street for 35 years I remodelled a bathroom.  mop-boardDid a nice job for a 1980’s remodel, even if I do say so myself.  I panelled the bathroom in teak veneer and built a custom indirect lighting fixture when we couldn’t find what we wanted in the store.  But I finished up everything in the bathroom except for installing the vinyl mop boards.  And I ignored them.  For 5 years.  And finally after 5 years I finished the ‘remodel’ by installing them in about 2 hours.  Why did I wait 5 years?  I have no idea.  The job didn’t take long — I knew it wouldn’t.  I just couldn’t get myself convinced that those silly mop boards were all that important to stop what I was doing and get out the tools all over again.  It made no sense, but humans aren’t always logical. Me in particular.

gratitude-is-the-cureI don’t know… maybe if I think about this subject long enough I’ll finally get mad enough with myself to actually change.  Thus far when I have followed through and gotten rid of things I realized we weren’t using I have not had to replace them.  That old adage about “if you haven’t used something in a year, you don’t need it” is pretty much gospel.  Whether it’s tools or something else I can’t tell you how many times I have gone out and bought something I already owned because I couldn’t find it.  Too much stuff just gets lost. The brain, no matter how good one is at remembering, simply misplaces things.

It’s supposed to rain again today.  He says even though we are below average for the month.  Maybe I’ll get down in the basement and tackle some of this instead of just talking abou it. 😳😳😳

Thanks for stopping,  I’ll be here tomorrow if you want to stop and check out what’s up.7dd80ec1ad43d5f664aa970f79616ba2



9 thoughts on “Need less stuff

  1. I love your blog and wish I could do what you’ve done. This huge house is an albatross. 2 more kids to boot out and we may get there!


    • Hi, Elena! Thanks for commenting. The blog is much more fun when people chime in and share a little bit of their life too.

      The “American Dream” is a strange thing because a lot of have gone after it only to realize we were quite happy with something else, something other, something smaller… And I know a bunch of folks who feel trapped in their big homes. To say nothing of people who bought bigger homes than they could afford, or fancier homes than they needed and regret being in a lifestyle they dislike.

      Not sure how old your last two kids are; and of course the question could be asked: “Why wait?” I’m not being facetious because who knows, making a move sooner could be the best thing in the world to happen to them. But then, what do I know. I just say that because it’s so easy to underestimate our kids capacity. And of course they aren’t going to have the foresight to know what is best for them — but doing things because the family is doing them is not the worst experience in a person’s life: we do tend to learn our place in the cosmos when we are compelled INTO the cosmos. 🙂

      Take heart, though. Even if you do nothing, time flies faster than we want and soon you’ll be wishing those kids were with you once again. Life’s funny that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Firstly, my kids are way too old to still be here. They won’t take the hint. Lol Actually, we are just waiting for my hubby to retire, 5 more years and then we will be on our way. I continually tell the kids there is an expiration date and to plan accordingly. Thankfully, we never bit off more than we could chew and we have been in the same house for 25 years. Our next move will be our last hopefully.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL — Yeah, you aren’t the only parents to be in that continuing childhood stage of life… But, let’s hope it’s only your children. We met the most extraordinary couple — Oh, I guess it’s been almost two years ago — who are starting life all over again because one of the kids had children (3) and is no longer able to care for them, so they are grandparent-parenting them full time and while it’s a challenge for them they are (fortunately) loving it. They aren’t the only like that we have met, but they were the most notable and their faces and names stick in our brain. Family is important and we all do what we have to do for family.

        Five years isn’t that long. You have time to plan a retirement, live it in your mind, make revisions, live them in your mind, revise the revisions and maybe be ready by the time the date arrives. Then again, in 5 years you’ll be listening to election spiels all over again and the world may be very different from the world we see around us today. I have to admit that I am not looking forward to the next 3 months on the world scene. NO matter who wins I’m sure the rhetoric will not be over when the election is over.

        We know we have one more move. It’s unlikely we’ll both pass while still full-timing — and we’re taking the uncertainty with a grain of salt. I’m sure we’ll likely end up in WI, but we both hate the winters. So, we’re in no hurry. All our family is in WI so it doesn’t make sense to make our final destination anywhere else. So, just enjoy life while we can, and hope for the best when life must change. 🙂 Change it will for us all.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Sand says:

    As we prepare to move some of our stuff gets sorted but some just gets packed. Why would we pack without sorting? Burnout is a real thing. But deadlines don’t move just because you need a break from sorting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you moving? Are congrats in order? Moving is something I’ve done too many times already in our life. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and for the first few years of married life. RV’ing doesn’t count.

      Your question about packing without sorting is a very good one.

      And you’re right about burnout. Have been there. Wasn’t fun and took me a long time to heal/recharge. In the end, even though it changed most everything about my life I’m glad to have gone through it. I’m healthier out the other side and even though there are parts of my old life that I continue to ‘miss’ — it’s the idea of those things, not the things themselves that I miss. Better to be here than there.

      The thing about deadlines is that how we feel about them makes a huge difference in how well we cope with them. Some deadlines that I look forward to are easy to prepare for; others have been shear hell. Only the person living through it can make the difference. Of course at this time of life literal, physical fatigue/exhaustion can get the best of us no matter how we feel emotionally about the situation.

      If you are packing — best luck with the move!



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