As each day passes and puts us closer to our departure, Brett and I find ourselves living more and more minimally. We’re cooking with one saucepan, one large saute pan, and four small sheet pans these days. We watch TV on my laptop. Our remaining furniture is due to leave the apartment next week and after it goes we’ll be sitting on resin Adirondack chairs and sleeping on an inflatable mattress, at least until the chairs (hopefully) sell at our yard sale. After that all we’ll have is the mattress.
You know what? We’re fine, and living with so little has proved to be much less of a challenge than imagined. In fact, it hasn’t really been a challenge at all. It’s instead been liberating and felt like a great weight is being lifted from our shoulders.
Our daughters took many of our things back home with them at the end of last year, but we’ve otherwise had no trouble letting things go and have not regretted nor missed anything we’ve sold, including items that we’ve owned for near 40 years.
We’re sort of surprised by how much we’re enjoying having less especially since we’ve always been people “with stuff.” We know it’s soon going to seem like we’re camping, but these last few weeks with just a minimal amount of furniture, a few dishes, a tiny amount cookware and utensils, and so forth has been eye opening. And, it’s also been enough. It turns out we need very, very little to live a good life, far less than we imagined.
Life in our apartment the past two years has shown us how small a space we need to be comfortable. We’ve also figured out in the past few months how few things we need in a small space as well as what’s important to us and what isn’t. We’ve completely changed our minds about what we’ll need once we finally get ready to settle down again.
When Brett left the navy in 1992, we moved 12,500 pounds of household goods from Japan. Over the years we began to slowly downsize, and when we moved to Hawai’i in 2014 we brought just 4,500 pounds with us, more than enough for our family. When we left to travel full time in 2018, just 1800 pounds of household goods went into storage. And now, after over 44 years together, everything Brett and I want to keep from our life together fits into 28 boxes, and weighs less than 300 pounds. Our plan was to to keep just 60 things but I think we ended up with 65, only because we had extra room in the last box we packed.
Will we acquire more? Of course – when we finally stop moving around we will need to buy and/or replace furniture, major appliances, and other necessary household items. However, we’re never again going to need or want as much as we have in the past. The simple life caught us and we couldn’t be happier or more satisfied.