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My Journey

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

The biggest downsizing experience in my personal life happened in 2016. I moved from a good-sized flat, where I had lived for over nine years, into a small HGV with my husband, which we had converted into a home for a trip around Europe. It was the longest time I had lived in one place as an adult and I couldn’t believe the number of possessions, particularly potential crafting items and books, I had amassed. Half a room of craft and books had to be reduced to a few very small storage boxes worth and a few paperbacks we hadn’t read.

The incentive to get into our now converted van was the huge benefit to our savings plan. By living in our town, in our van, with our full-time jobs a lot of money could be saved. To expedite the process, we rented a garage so the flat could be vacated more quickly.

Here in the van we downsized to, NW Spain

We dispersed 90% of our possessions through many means, in the town was a community organisation that provided arts and crafts, so my excessive resources were swiftly rehomed there. Many clothes were claimed by friends and the remains taken to charity shops. Summer clothes were stored in vacuum bags for the warmer climes that we anticipated in our new and exciting future. Furniture was bought in bulk by a friend who had just purchased her first home. Collectable records and instruments were sold to other music-loving friends. CDs, ornaments and bric-a-brac were sold at a couple of car-boot sales and the remnants went to charity via a bulk delivery to a sorting warehouse. Some of the 10% that we kept was stored in my parent’s attic, such as important documents and a few choice items of our childhood memorabilia. I had artwork remounted into lightweight frames for attaching to the van’s wooden walls. I bought fairly small, lidded and stackable containers for storing my now minimal art materials, stationery, electrical items, dry foods, clothes etc., we limited ourselves to one container per category of belonging, and once they were full, they were full. Hard decisions had to be made and room found for my 1950’s hand sewing machine, a decision well made as it did turn out to be very useful.

When we finally set off, 15 months after buying our home on wheels, with a good amount of money saved and emotionally weighing less for all the unnecessary possessions that play on your mind and weigh you down, I discovered that this unleashed new strands of creativity in writing and music, a sense of expansion in my soul and the feeling of new growth.

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