Nora, of The Minimalist Sparrow, was good enough to sit down with us for a little chat. Nora is a fountain of both wisdom and wit. She has an artistic mind and minimalism has taught her not to fear a blank wall. We know you'll love Nora as much as we do!
Here's another quick peek inside the storage unit. Gone are the kitchen table, washer and dryer and a few other misc. items!
Check out our video of ridding " the whole Enchilada" in Moab Utah.
This was a very uplifting and inspiring chat with That Vegan Couple. Natasha and Luca have been "minimalists" since before anyone knew what to call it. They show us that minimalism can change your heart and then your whole life. After you watch the video, be sure to head over to their channel!
Here's a quick update on the storage unit.
Here's a list of questions we asked ourselves as we went through our home and decided what to keep and what to let go. If you're thinking of seriously de-cluttering your life, I recommended going through your whole house at least 3 different times over several months. For us, it became easier to know what to let go with each pass. Try to be honest with yourself as you answer these questions.
1) If I didn't already own this, would I go out and buy it?
2) Is this something I use regularly or love?
3) Am I keeping this because I THINK I should love or use it?
4) Am I holding onto this item out of obligation to someone?
5) Am I keeping this "just in case?"
6) For sentimental items like old trophies and childhood toys, could I be happy with a photo of it and let the object itself go?
7) Do I have multiples of this item?
8) Is it worth the effort to fix, store, use, or clean this?
9) Could something else I own do the same job? Could a one dual purpose item replace several one trick ponies?
10) Do I have a real plan to use this item?
11) How long has it been since I used this item?
12) Is this item used for a hobby I'm no longer involved in?
13) Has this item already fulfilled its purpose in my life?
14) Am I attaching sentiment to too many things? Could I benefit from taking a break from all this de-cluttering?
15) If the house burned down would I replace this item?
We'd love to hear your tips in the comments below!
If you could have more of the best things in life, what would you want more of?
Time is probably a big one for a lot of us—and not just any old time but time with people we care about doing things we care about. Steve and I have always felt strongly about this idea but along the way, we've allowed some distractions in. Over the last couple years, we've begun to look at our life with new eyes and it's leading us to make some big changes.
10 years ago Steve and I set out to build a life together. Our first place was a tiny apartment and as our income has increased over the years, we've progressed to more and more square footage. Eventually we bought a house— 3200 sq. ft. on 1/3 of an acre. Life was good. All our basic needs were being met and then some. Looking back, we wanted for nothing, but still, we always found something to want. We were always adding to our possessions and we rarely took the time or trouble to subtract.
We've been avid campers for a long time but about 3 years ago a friend introduced us to ultra-light backpacking. Both Steve and I had gone backpacking in our teens but we weren't in love with it as we both associated the experience with carrying a 30 or 40 pound pack. But ultra-lighting made us change our minds.
Our friend recommended Mike Cleland's book “Ultralight Backpackin' tips,” and it turned out to be a very quick and entertaining to read. Some of Cleland's tips seemed genius and some seemed a little crazy, but as we started implementing the concepts of ultra-lighting, we became more willing to try the crazy stuff. Packing became a game, and it was fun to experiment with which items were really worth their weight on a trip. We came to understand that ultralight backpacking isn't about learning to tolerate misery, its about being happy with less.
Eventually, we couldn't avoid looking at our everyday life through an Ultra-light lens. We realized that we're happiest when spending time with people we care about, and when we're out in nature together. So why were we giving so much of our precious time and energy to maintaining a large home that was just a place to hang our packs between adventures?
Then we stumbled onto the minimalist movement—it was like ultra-light backpacking for everyday life. We were inspired by other people's minimalist journeys and soon we were ready to start our own. We sold our house in May and now we're renting a room from Steve's mom while we continue the process of downsizing all our possessions. We had a lot of stuff so downsizing is proving to be a big job but it feels so good to watch it all slowly disappear—I nearly wept with joy when we sold our lawn mower!
We're still not sure what our “brand” of minimalism will look like but we really like where it's headed. For Steve and Tess, owning less stuff is one giant step toward having more of the best things in life.
Check out our recent Camping trip to the San Rafael Swell! This was a quick family friendly trip with incredible canyon views, rock art, a historic bridge, a sink hole and several ghost towns. Some areas can be reached by car while other parts require a high clearance vehicle. All roads within "the Swell" are unpaved so expect dust. This Area is managed by the BLM. For all you full-time Rvers, we saw a few boondockers. Don't forget to tread lightly!
Watch this video for a peek at our recent trip to Canyonlands NP. Since we were in the national park we had to leave Fender at home, but we were lucky to have a few other good friends with us. We hiked Salt Creek, where we saw a ton of Native American ruins and rock art. It's been a rainy spring so there were tons of wild flowered on this desert trip. We even had some rain and thunder storms, which is always a beautiful thing to witness in red rock country. Be aware that this trip requires a backcountry permit. We had 5 days set aside for the trip, but we ended up finishing in 4. If I were to do it again, I would probably do it in 2 or 3 days. Great trip. Great company.
Steve and Tess love to explore nature, whether it be backpacking, packrafting, mountain biking, hiking, or just wandering. The more we explore, the more we realize just how little we've seen.