Archive for December 3, 2017

Toward Minimalism

I’m trying to use this blog to chronicle our transitions and experiences as we make significant changes to our lifestyle this year. I haven’t posted as much as I wished, but I hope that will change.  Here’s a quick summary of our arc.

A year ago, we were happily ensconced in our home of 16 years, in Boise, Idaho. My wife and I lived with our dog on a 1/2 acre in a house that wasn’t huge, but had some nice amenities. We had a great backyard complete with a hot tub, in-ground swimming pool (solar heated, of course), and a detached 2-story garage. The upper floor of the garage was Barb’s studio, complete with a half bath, lots of workbenches and sunlights. The lower was a roomy 2-car garage and lots of workshop space. When it was being built, I plumbed the workshop for compressed air and installed a modest air compressor.

Life in the house was great. It was close to campus (about 3.5 miles), in a very quiet neighborhood and we loved living there.

But it was a lot of work, particularly for Barb and, quite frankly, it was a lot more than we needed.  In addition, the space and the upkeep tended to encourage us to acquire more stuff.  You know how it goes — we had room to store it, you never know when you’re going to need it …. next thing you know, you’ve got a garage full.

When the dog died suddenly in May, it got us thinking.

We’ve always wanted to spend some time overseas, maybe Australia, but that’s hard to do with a dog.

Now we can.

But what do we do with the house while we’re gone? With all the “amenities”, it’s a hard house to rent because those things take upkeep?

Maybe it’s time to sell.

What do we do if we sell?

We can rent (short term at least)

What do we do with all our stuff that we’ve acquired/saved?


That last one took some doing, but we got rid of nearly all of it.  It took some time to get to that point, but in the end it was (and remains) amazingly liberating.

Somewhere along the process, our realtor said that we’re part of a trend (who knew?) called “minimalism” and that we should look it up.

Very interesting stuff, and for those who aren’t familiar with the trend, I recommend this TED talk:


Very engaging and thought provoking.

I wouldn’t say we’re fully engaged like the guys in the video, but we certainly are much less concerned about our stuff than we were 6 months ago.  Like I said — it’s liberating.

We’ve decided to make a list of the things we missed and/or wished we hadn’t gotten rid of — so far that’s a mighty small list.  That’s a good topic for another blog post.  Stay tuned for that.

We’re still preparing for our departure to the southern hemisphere, about 5 weeks away now, and there’s a lot to do, but we’re working down the list.  For example, we recently drove our 2000 Ford Ranger to Austin, TX to deliver some ancestral furniture to our daughter’s place, spent Thanksgiving there and met our new grand-daughter.  Also  spent time playing Gramma and Grampa Idaho to the two grandsons.  It’s a fun role.

Stay tuned.



December 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

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