Hi everyone! My apologies for not posting for a while! My job requires me to be out in the middle of nowhere and internet (and phone signal) are not always available. I have the next couple days to kind of goof off but I live too far away to drive all the way back home to Colorado. So here I am in Minot, ND with my laptop and a change of clothes in a hotel that appears to be straight out of the 1940s! The bathroom has an overhead heat lamp that’s attached to a dial on the wall. The hotel’s bedroom has baseboard heaters that look like they’ve seen better days. It makes me think of where I grew up in Virginia. Most things in that part of Virginia never get updated there either. People just make do with what they’ve got and carry on with their lives. Because why wouldn’t you keep using something if it still works?
This actually is a great introduction to something I’ve been considering for quite a while. Minimalism. I absolutely LOVE the idea of minimalism. The only issue I have with it is that I still LOVE buying clothes way more than I LOVE minimalism. But overall, I think I’ve implemented minimalism into my life more and more throughout the years. For example, I tend to enjoy moving from location to location. I get bored and anxious if I stay in one location more than about 2-3 years. But what I’ve noticed is that each time I move, I tend to literally get rid of everything I own except what I can easily mail myself and fit in my 4-door sedan. This includes fitting my 3 cats in their carriers and sedating those little suckers so they don’t mind the 12+ hour car ride to wherever we’re going.
Normally, when I move, no one is helping me so it just makes sense that the less stuff I have the easier it is on me when I move. The few things that I mail to myself tend to be DVDs, CDs, and books. However, in the future, those three things might not be as big of a deal. All of my CDs have been ripped and put onto a microSD card that’s in my phone. I also have a backup of them all on an external hard drive so a few years ago, I sold those to a music store that buys and sells used media. I’ve stopped buying paperback and hardback books though I still have the ones I bought before. Anything that I want to read I either find in my local library on their mobile app as an e-book or buy from Amazon Kindle. As for my DVDs, I ripped all of them and put them on my external hard drive before I started doing extensive travel for my job. Originally, I did it because I didn’t think I would have access to satellite TV in the remote areas that I’d be working. Now, it just makes sense to have all my movies in a compact little case. I haven’t moved towards selling off the hard copies of my DVDs yet but I’m sure that will come in due time.
But this all brings me to my other belongings. Currently, I live with my boyfriend and we did end up selling most of my furniture when we moved in together. But I still have an entire walk-in closet full of clothes. I share the closet with my boyfriend and I’ve slowly started taking over his side of the closet. It’s ridiculous. I do buy clothes from the local thrift store so I’m not spending a lot of money on them. And every time I buy more, I make it a point to get rid of just as many as I bought plus a couple more. So it’s slowly getting whittled down but I keep thinking that I could do much better if I put my mind to it. So that’s something I want to embark on when I get back from my North Dakota work excursion.
Ah! Here’s a funny story about my clothes when I was moving from Florida to Colorado a few years ago. I had my entire car packed to the brim. I left myself a few inches in the back of my car to be able to look out the rear window. I had too many clothes to fit IN my car so I ended up buying a temporary roof rack system and put all my clothes on TOP of my car. Mind you, this worked just fine when I was moving from Virginia to Florida so I had no reason to think it wouldn’t work just as well the 2nd time around. Well, Mississippi had other plans for my clothes and the roof rack they rode in on. As I was driving through Mississippi, a big gust of wind took hold of the roof rack system and swept it right off my car! Ultimately, this came down to the straps just not being tight enough on the inside of the car frame, but this was quite an ordeal for a mid-20s something female carrying all her possessions and 3 cats in the car.
I saw the roof rack system fly off my car as I looked through the rear-view mirror. I went to the next exit and turned around to go back the way I came for all my clothes. I stopped on the side of the road, walked across the median, and drug what remained of my roof-rack back to my car. I unzipped the soft bag that encased my clothes and pulled one plastic bag full of clothes after another out of it to find a place in my car. I was starting to panic as I couldn’t find many places to put the clothes. I mean, if I had room for them inside the car to begin with they would have been inside it instead of on top of it! As luck would have it, a highway patrolman saw me struggling and stopped on the side of the road to help. It ended up that we couldn’t find anywhere else to stuff the remainder of my clothes. Finally, he suggested that he take my clothes home with him and mail them to my new home address in Colorado. I was hesitant but ultimately I felt I had no other option. Two weeks later, I received 2 big boxes of my clothes in the mail! I then mailed the police officer a check repaying him for his generous help and thanked him profusely.
All-in-all, this story had a happy ending but it highlights the fact that I have too many clothes. I definitely don’t wear all the clothes I own and can definitely travel light with no problem, so why should I keep a closet full of clothes that I don’t need and just create hassle when moving? The answer is: I shouldn’t. So that’s my endeavor for the day after I get back home from North Dakota! I hope to get rid of at least 50 articles of clothing when I get home and I plan to look for more ways to embrace minimalism without doing anything too drastic. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more updates! I am anxious to do January’s net worth article at the end of next week!