Sunday, February 28, 2010

Minimizing Your Life

I often wonder if we are strange for wanting to "run away" from our typical American life. I mean here we are in our late 20s and we have so much stuff. We have a house, two cars, a flat screen TV, clothes, bikes, boats; by all accounts we are firmly entrenching ourselves into the middle class. Yet all we feel is that we have to get rid of it all and change the way we are headed.

We've been taking steps in the past year to reduce our consumption and the amount of stuff that we own. Last spring we had a big yard sale and managed to trim some of the fat. We've also been donating clothes to goodwill and the like. Still so much more remains.

There is a minimalist movement going on in the country now that we've recently been paying attention to. Maybe you have heard of the 100 things challenge? The idea is to reduce your worldly possessions to 100 items or less. To us it sounds very liberating. I mentioned it to some people at work and they seemed somewhat intrigued, but couldn't image in doing it themselves.

So, this spring we will be having another yard sale, maybe two. In some ways we'd love to do an estate sale where people could just come into our house and buy our things as if we had died. That would certainly make it easy.

What doesn't go in the sales will be donated to charity, and when we move south we'll take the smallest U-Haul possible. One thing about living on a boat is that we won't be able to re-accumulate this much stuff.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

11 Months Later

It's always amazing to me when you look back in time at how fast it seems to have gone, while the future always seems to to be so far away.

We started this blog almost a year ago to chronicle our journey towards a new life. Unfortunately we haven't made it there yet. The biggest obstacle to overcome has been the sale of our home here in upstate NY. A year ago the real estate market was looking pretty dismal and we decided to step back and regroup before going forward.

When last we blogged, we were determining whether or not to renovate the attic into a functional second floor. Well, we decided it would be best to go forward with the work in order to add more equity. The work began in September and by November of 09 we had a fully functioning second floor. Thus far everyone who has seen it has been very impressed, and we are hoping it will be the edge that helps with the ultimate sale of the house.

The plan now is to list our house for sale on or about May 1st, 2010. That will be the 4 year anniversary of when we bought the house. As always there is a list of projects we would like to complete in order to get everything in tip top shape before the sale. If we can get near our eventual asking price, we will have enough to break free.

It's hard to believe how fast the last year has gone by, and all that we accomplished with this house. In a short few months our lives will be very different, I can't wait to look back a year from now and see what we've done.