Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Essentials for Every Abode as a Minimalist: Looking Back at the Past Three Years

It has been over three years since I found my way to Minimalism, and it has been longer than that since the journey began. It began in September 2006 when I moved over 2000 miles, and ended up with staying with a relative while I got settled. I was used to an 1800 square foot apartment, and after a divorce, still had quite a bit of belongings as I had moved most of my stuff from high school to my new home of 2.5 years. Upon returning to Ohio with my cats and car, I had to work with what I brought for my 2 week trip through Canada and the United States until my stuff arrived. I realized at that moment that I didn't miss any of the items coming back to me, and where on earth was all of it going to fit in three rooms upstairs. Storage was to expensive, and I didn't have to drive far as everything I needed as far as food, supplies, thrift stores, and everything else was right there.

There are benefits and drawbacks to city dwelling. The city offers smaller spaces, less storage, but easier access to just about everything, which means there isn't a need for 3 months of toilet paper, or a fancy printer setup as the copy shop is right around the corner. Oddly enough, there wasn't much for public transportation upon my return, and walking was restricted to the safer times of the day, as well as working day in and day out to find a job, so replacing, or buying new items wasn't something I could freely do. So, I had to work with what I had brought home, which after pet supplies that weren't local (I bulk packed to make sure there was enough for the trip, and the transition to food and litter that could be locally obtained at a reasonable price, as money was incredibly tight at that point), wasn't much.

With me were: four weeks of clothes, one tote of dishes, food, and camp stove &/or electric burner to be used outside the car, toiletries which included a Coleman camp shower, portable towel, 6 packs of wash cloths, baby wipes (good for just about everything), hand sanitizer (has many uses), and toiletry bag with shampoo, body wash, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, no wash poo and body wash, and toilet paper (conventional and camping). Also, the car preparation kit included: battery charger, jumper cables, hardware kit, (screwdrivers, 12 volt drill, and so forth.) Cell phone, heavy, giant laptop, and camera with attached chargers and cables. I also carried a sleeping mat, bag, and tent. The cats each had a carrier with a litter box, bed, food and water dishes, as well as toys for the trip. They all traveled well, as we practiced prior to leaving by going on local quick trips to get them used to the feeling and noises of the car. After the first bumpy part of the cruise, everyone settled in, and it went well. I stayed in two hotels on the way home, and visited many places. Therefore, travel and pets is fully possible, and dreams do come true. It was that cross country trip that changed the way I looked at travel, and became addicted. This post comes as I explore the next phase of what is to come, and how my views have changed, what has worked, what hasn't, and how finances come into play.


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