In my book “Retire Early What are you waiting for?” I discuss different ways early retirees are choosing to live their lives. There are people living mobile lifestyles, moving to a foreign country and some just simplifying their lives. What do all these things have in common? They all require some level of downsizing to your current possessions.
In two years, my son will be off to college and as the old saying goes “I’ll be footloose and fancy free.” Free to roam, explore and wander aimlessly. In preparation I’ve decided to start the downsizing process now instead of waiting until the last minute.
Craigslist is addicting. Recently, I’ve sold an exercise bike, home beer brewing equipment, a futon, a head board and a vehicle. Now I find myself walking around the house wondering what else I can sell on Craigslist. By starting the downsizing process now, I am not in a rush. I can take the time to make a few dollars verses letting things go for too low a price trying to beat the clock, or even trashing it.
I’m also selling my RV. My 2008 Holiday Rambler Admiral is currently available and heck yeah, I put it on Craigslist. I’d like to get something a little more rugged so we can go way back on BLM land out west. Utilizing BLM land is a great way to cut costs while on the road. What I have found out regarding selling an RV in the winter time is if the temperature is under 60 degrees, nobody is thinking about RV’s. However, once it gets over 60 degrees, the phone rings off the hook and now everyone is thinking about an RV.
The house is getting ready to go on the market as well. I want to take advantage of the current housing market in Asheville and get as much equity as possible. What a pain in the ass though. Deb and I spent the weekend painting, working on the yard and getting things ready to list it. You never truly know how much crap you have until you start thinking about moving. I’m not going to be able to do a huge downsize yet since we’ll still rent a home until my son heads off to college, but I can put a pretty good size dent into getting rid of stuff. By renting, we will be able to take off when we are ready.
Downsizing is much easier these days than it was twenty years ago. Today you can sell stuff online instead of setting up a yard sale. Heck, if it doesn’t sell and you never want to look at it again, then you can drag the stuff down to your local Goodwill or Habitat store and donate it. Many even have drive throughs.
I have to say that it does feel good getting rid of stuff I never use anymore. I doubt I’ll ever be confused with a minimalist however I do think less is better.
Downsizing is a process best started earlier than later. Shedding your life of stuff takes time but is well worth the journey. I feel more free already and I’ve only just begun.
I must go now to find more stuff I can sell on Craigslist.
Live free my friends