Category Archives: Downsizing

Methods of Purging

In my quest to simplify my life, I’ve been habitually purging the abundance of things I have. I take unwanted clothing and books to Goodwill, I get rid of stuff cluttering surfaces in my room. And recycle odd socks as dusting rags. I do all of these things in an effort to make my space easier to clean. The less I have, the less there is to make clutter.

It recently occurred to me though that purging can go beyond physical items. I need to purge in my digital life as well. In a recent email search I found over 100 unnecessary emails. Deleted them all. I also took some time to unsubscribe to recurring emails I just don’t want or read. Next, I’m more than certain, I have a more than a few “friends” on Facebook who can get the boot. And then there’s the pictures. 

unnecessaty photos in your digital device take up valuable memory space 

I recently bought a new phone. My previous one was three years old and slowly dying. I made the decision to replace it when I realized I could only have phone conversations on speaker phone and could only use the keyboard when the phone was horizontal. After some research I found a great replacement that I’m hoping will last another three years or more. 

“Would you like to transfer your pictures?” The sales person asked after I made my selection.

“Sure,” I replied. 

An hour and change later my new device was finally ready after taking on 1300 pics. Kinda ridiculous. So now on a regular basis, I’m purging photos as well. They can eat up valuable memory space and make your device run poorly.

Holding onto things I don’t need seems to weigh me down a lot more than I’d like. Letting it go is liberating and helps me move forward in life. I highly recommend it.


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Filed under Better Choices, Downsizing, Philosophy, Purging, Simple Life

Doing More With Less

In spite of my status as a Vet, with an Honorable Discharge, I often think of myself as a bad American. Why? It’s because I’m not a rampant consumer. I seldom pay retail for anything, enjoy buying things second hand, or simply just make do with what I have. I love the concept of “Doing More With Less.” Consider it a lifestyle choice.

Doing more with less can mean a lot of things: using things till they wear out, having fewer belongings, or rejecting the disposable. For me the idea is to simplify by using less, spending less, thereby having to work less, and thus decreasing stress.

 The ironic part about all of this is that a lot of the things I currently reject, are intended to make life convenient. For some, products such as pre-moistened disposable cleaning towelettes are more convenient. But, in my mind, all I see is something wasted, something that has to be constantly replenished, something that is just creating more trash that I have to deal with. Prepared food might also seem like a great convenience. But believe it or not, most of my home cooked meals take less than 30 minutes to make, taste better, and don’t leave me feeling dissatisfied with what I ate.
Ultimately, all I really want is comfort, something that can be bought. Comfort comes from peace of mind, and for me that comes from worrying less about things I don’t have, and truly cherishing all that I do have. Comfort comes from taking control of my expectations by not allowing advertising to tell me what is wrong with me and why my life is incomplete. Comfort is gained with genuine understanding of what my needs are and finding a way to fulfill them.
I’m really looking forward to curating this life. I already have some of the basics: two amazing smart and snarky kids, a wonderful and loving partner and furry companions. Most importantly, what I have is a vision of the life I want, and what it takes to get there. With a good bit of planning, some innovation, improvisation and diligence, it could happen. Hey, maybe I’m not such a bad American after all.
Happy New Year!

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Filed under Downsizing, Simple Life

Simplify With Lists

Lists Make Life BetterLists are your friend. Lists can help us remember things, remind us of goals, and provide order to our endeavors. So of course, when considering a simpler lifestyle, making lists can be a very large part of that.

My goal is to simplify my life, so I’ve been making lots of lists. It started with my wardrobe. On my most recent trip to Canada, I checked in with just under 100 pounds of luggage, and it was 95% clothing. I was mortified. Really? My must have bundle is 100 pounds? It was a wake up call, a signal that it’s time to purge again. 

I’ve been purging for a few years, getting down to the necessities, but now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty. I had to ask myself, “What are my necessities?” The answer led to a list of my ideal wardrobe.  The list is in no way set stone, but it’s a great way to figure out what to keep and what to ditch. My ultimate goal is to be able to fit my essential wardrobe in one standard military duffle bag.

Now, of course there are caveats to this plan. For instance, my winter gear generally stays in Canada, so those items don’t count. Next, is my Burning Man gear, which I’ve also been paring down for the last couple of years. Gone are the costumes and fun fur. My Playa wardrobe is mostly work clothes now, but I still keep a cocktail dress or two and the ubiquitous sun dress for hot days of hard work.

Knowing what you really need in life helps you select what you really want. Now with a more limited wardrobe, as items wear out, I will replace them with high quality pieces that I love to wear.  For me it’s a healthy transition. Instead of buying new clothes to fill a whole in my life, I will be buying them to fill a hole in my wardrobe.



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Filed under Downsizing, Purging, Simple Life