Six Months and Counting

It's been six months since we lived in 160 square feet of vintage Airstream travel trailer while traveling around North America.

Currently, we reside in 930 square feet of brick-and-mortar duplex in the Midwest.

Today I decided I want to write more about my family's desire to live with less, live simply, whatever you want to call it - to be free from the burden of excess, to purchase purposefully, live small, and rid ourselves of debt. Six months and counting: that is, I'm counting the things we've accumulated since we left our Airstream trailer. Did you know that when we sold it, we sold it in California and then traveled around the country for awhile with everything we owned in our SUV? Everything. 

While writing this post, I took my cup of coffee, a pad of paper, and a pen, walking through the rooms of our house on the main level only and began taking inventory. My findings are as follows:


 

  • Living Room 135 
    • Plants/pots counted as one, books + 2 that friends are borrowing, decor, furniture, art
  • Dining Room 134
    • This number surprised me, our dining room looks quite austere. A table, rug, six chairs, a crate turned bar...but inside built in cabinetry and a closet, the number quickly rose.
  • Kitchen 271 
    • For this, I counted every single item in the kitchen, including individual flatware. Containers with lids were counted as one if they had a match (ours actually all do right now). I also counted the photos and artwork and cards from friends dotting the fridge and the magnets that hold them in place.
  • Hallway 2
    • Artwork, made by me and a trundle bed we need to take to Goodwill leaning against the wall.
  • Bathroom 88
    • Shower curtain, rug, soaps. Things like a package of toilet paper and a box of Qtips are counted as one, but towels and lotions and things are all separate.
  • Master Bedroom 277
    • Furniture, sheets, pillows, decor, artwork, lighting, computers, camera gear, clothing.
      • Kate owns 82 items of clothing and 11 pairs of shoes, excluding a few items in the wash.
      • Ellen owns 73 items of clothing and 6 pairs of shoes, excluding a few items in the wash.
      • I didn't count individual items in our two office boxes that hold sentimental items like letters, drawings from our daughter, photographs, tiny gifts. Those boxes are sacred to us.
  • Adelaide's Bedroom 273
    • Furniture, sheets, pillows, decor, artwork, lighting, toys, jewelry, clothing.
      • Adelaide owns 57 items of clothing and 5 pairs of shoes, excluding a few items in the wash.
      • Bedding, furniture, lighting, and decor only comprises 20 items of the total. The rest is made up of toys, art supplies, and books. I counted each piece of furniture in her dollhouse and each dish or faux food item in her play kitchen as one item.
  • Front + Back Porches 15 
    • Chairs, tables, plants/pots, raised beds for herbs.
  • Main level total: 1, 195 items 

 

Ellen and I have been engaged in some heavy conversations lately about what's next for us, and while that plan isn't definitive yet, we do know the following:

  • We want to be debt-free and are working diligently toward this goal.
  • We want to live simply and live small.
  • We want to be purposeful and intentional.
  • We want to have the freedom to travel when possible, but have a stationary home to return to.
  • We want to connect with others.
  • We want to share transparently about our relationships with things and our journey to a life we want.

This post is about that transparency I mentioned above, the journey we are on. I keep thinking that we're starting over in this path to simplicity, and perhaps in some ways we are...but this all really started when Ellen and I, two best friends from college, reunited after seven years and had a conversation that connected us: we both wanted to build a tiny house someday. We never really lost sight of that goal, and we've already built and sold one and are working on another that will serve as a placeholder until we can build our tiny dream home on a plot of land. The last four years have been an evolving effort toward a life that makes us better, a life that we want because it's what's best for us.

Starting today, I am going to make a conscious effort in this blog space to share our hearts toward our version of a simple life. In the coming weeks, I will be continuing to streamline the blog a bit more in an effort to share about all of the things I mentioned above. I will be sharing more about our current Airstream renovation, small space design and functionality, our future plans, and some strategies we are currently putting into practice to pare down our belongings and reduce debt.

Counting the things we own and sharing the numbers is in an effort to share honestly about where we are currently and open up room for discourse: is simplifying our lives about the number of things we own, or is it about the way a space makes us feel, or is it a combination of both?