Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Purging and Downsizing

One of the reasons I've been "too busy to blog" is that we moved. After my divorce earlier this year, my kids and I were still in the five bedroom, 2.5 bath home that was just sucking the life out of me! It was too big, too much money, and SUPER inefficient. We were literally using only a few rooms of the whole house, but paying to heat the whole thing! After our $458 gas bill, I quickly turned down the thermostat and we froze the rest of the winter. We used portable electric heaters to warm up the room we were in, but as soon as you walked out it was cold!
I knew I needed a smaller place, and the stress of the money, the wasted resources, and just the STUFF everywhere drove me crazy. We were able to move into a two bedroom- yes a TWO bedroom- duplex at the beginning of May, and we have slowly moved necessities over. Anything that we haven't needed will GO. We've already donated a lot, and sold some at a children's consignment sale. But there is LOTS left. It is so true that no matter the size of your house, if you have room for it, you will buy it and fill up the house.
We are not living a traditional life, but it is working. My kids and I all share a bedroom. The bedroom is also our living room. It houses the one TV we have. The living room is the play/activity room where the kids' toys, books, and tumbling area are. The second bedroom is our computer room which houses my office and a desk which holds their computers. This will also be my daughter's art space once we get the shelves up and her art stuff over here. The kids have really pared down their toys and it's not been difficult deciding which are important and which they can do without. Since their dad is moving back into the house, they still have access to them, but I'm guessing a lot of them will go. As long as I don't have to look at them all over the place, I don't care! :o)
Moving and purging has been very liberating. I am so much more relaxed. When I cooked my first meal, it was so nice that everything was right there; I didn't have to walk across the room twenty times for this or for that. Since rent is MUCH lower, I'm not worried about money. I am able to plan for our future and put money away for my kids' college educations. I am also a better parent. When you are less stressed, you are naturally going to parent in a calmer manner and not "lose it" so much. I think the kids are less stressed, too.
It is sad that we as Americans feel the need for bigger, better, and more. It is sucking the life right out of each and every one of us. I was not actually this way, but was married to someone who was. And I went along for the ride. Truth be told, what we are doing now is preparing us, hopefully, for living on the road. Our goal is to get an RV and travel for part of the year. We are excited about that! And I'm glad we made this move because it has shown us that we CAN do without things and we MUCH prefer fun experiences to "things". Try it yourself, and find a better life for you and your family!

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