Downsizing

moving-boxesTo some people I’ve gone insane. A couple of months ago I had several plastic tubs under my bed, and many more completely filling my walk-in closet. I had 2 shelf units, the square ones meant to fit those fabric containers, full of books, knickknacks and other things. I had a huge dresser and it was packed with clothes.

Looking in my room now, at first glance it doesn’t look much different, but there are no tubs under the bed. If you pull out the fabric containers from my shelf they are empty. I have 3 tubs in my closet, one of which is currently empty of all the Christmas decorations that it normally holds.  The huge dresser is gone, replaced by a smaller, narrower dresser with tiny drawers, half of which are empty.

Furniture aside, I am pretty sure that I could fit all of my belongings into the back of my Toyota Yaris hatchback with room to spare, and I wouldn’t be taking my furniture into my tiny house anyway.

I’ve sent several car loads to Goodwill. I’ve shipped things off to friends, and brought stuff in for coworkers.  And I’m not even done yet.  I still have several things that I am only hanging on to out of sentimental attachment to the people who got them for me. These are things I don’t need, probably wouldn’t have bought for myself, don’t even really want, but struggle to part with simply because they were gifts.

There is my DVD collection, an entire DVD shelf I bought at Walmart cram packed with mostly Disney and horse-related movies. I don’t think I’ve watched one in years, and when I move to my tiny house I’ll be downsizing my desktop computer with a bluray player to something like a Surface Pro that won’t have one. I don’t need one. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and leeching off my parents Dish Network account is all I’ll ever need. So those will probably also go to Goodwill or divided up among my friends and family who want them.

I still have a shelf full of books, some of which are old/antique books (not the kind worth money, just the kind that are falling apart and outdated and no one will ever read them) that will probably stay with my parents when I leave.

So what will I take with me? I can actually list it, because it is not much.

My clothes – I have enough pants and shirts for about a week and a half. I don’t have summer or winter clothes, I just have clothes I wear all year, and if its cold I put on one of 2 sweaters or my hoodie.

Laptop/Tablet – I don’t even own this item yet. No need to buy it until I’m actually ready to move into my tiny house.  My desktop will probably stay behind. I’m sure mom will use it, as her current computer is a very old laptop with a broken screen and keyboard hooked up to a monitor.

Books – I intend to bring a few book series that are special to me. My hardback collection of Harry Potter, and my Illustrated Harry Potter, my Wheel of Time series, the Obsidian Trilogy (and its following trilogy), the Dark Horse trilogy.  The rest of my books, including my 15 volume huge Encyclopedia of Religion books, will stay behind. If my parents don’t want them, they can donate them.

My Art Supplies – I have one plastic 3-drawer storage unit that is about 3 feet tall. One drawer has my acrylic paints, one has some sculpting supplies/tools, and one has all my pencils and drawing supplies.  I also have smaller table-top plastic drawers that stand about a foot tall with some little sculpting supplies like my glitter, the plastic I use to make dragon wings, and my spools of wire.  All these supplies could easily fit inside the average kitchen cabinet (not that that’s where I’ll put it, but just to give an idea of the space it’ll take up in my tiny house).

Bathroom Stuff – Shampoo, Conditioner, hand soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. I don’t usually bother with makeup so I don’t have a makeup mirror or makeup bag, I don’t paint my nails, I don’t use a hair dryer, I don’t use a curling iron. I don’t require a lot of bathroom space.  Also 2 towels is all I really need, 2 hand towels, and 2 face cloths should be fine for my needs.

Dishes – I actually already have my dishes! I found a set I really liked at Goodwill several years ago and bought them. They are sitting in a box in my closet. It’s a small set, I think 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls and 4 coffee cups. More than enough for me as I intend to just hand-wash whatever dishes I use right after I use them. I’ll need some silverware, but again enough for 4 will probably be more than enough for me.

Stuff that I don’t already own that I will need to get are a few water glasses, and a couple of pans and cooking utensils. I’ll want to get a new mattress. I sleep on a full right now and that is fine for me. I may splurge here and get a memory foam one, but I’ll have to do a little research and see if those are okay to have flat on the ground without some kind of box spring, because my tiny house wont have a bed, it will have a sleeping loft.

I also want a fold-out couch/futon for the “living” room so that I could potentially have a guest stay over.  I imagine if I’m parked in my parents yard and my sister comes to visit with my niece, my nice would love to sleep in the tiny house with her auntie.

I’m also thinking of getting a projector instead of a TV. I have visions of bringing it outside and having movie nights right on the side of my house. For most of my TV watching I’ll just use the screen of my laptop/tablet.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m very excited. I’ve actually enjoyed going through my things and purging all the stuff I don’t need. It’s felt very… I mean I don’t want to say “freeing” because I never felt burdened by my stuff, but it does feel like a clean slate. And I have noticed that my frivolous spending has dropped. I’ve got over $150 in amazon credit that I haven’t touched except to buy a couple seasons of a show and a kindle book. For Christmas I asked for simple or small things, preferably things that wont last like lotions, soaps or other things, to not get me knickknacks or other things that will take up needless space. It felt good to have a Christmas list that I knew my family would be able to handle, that wouldn’t seem selfish or asking too much, or on the other hand being difficult and saying “I don’t know.”

My eagerness to get started building has also led to me looking forward to each week when my paycheck comes, not to spend the money, but to put a certain amount to my credit card and watching the balance go down. I’ve never been so excited to see my paycheck disappear to bills before.

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