This is the big day that we hit the road to start our new life. It has been a huge process in the last couple of months to get here.
Hans said the process of adjusting to our new life is the hardest thing he has ever completed. I still insist that passing a 5 hour Calculus/Trigonometry class to graduate college is the hardest thing I have ever done to this day. Math was never my forte.
It was a HUGE challenge for us was to downsize us from a 3 bedroom, 1700 square foot home to a 25 foot travel trailer with one slide out. I estimate the square footage to be around 171 square feet. So, it is basically a tiny house. We had to go down to 10% of the space we once had. We had to get rid of 90% of our stuff. I was keeping a list of everything we were selling or donating. I got to around 500 items and then abandoned my list. I think I was almost halfway through my clearing spree when I stopped my list.
I initially started off being very zen about it a la Marie Kondo. , holding it, breathing it in and seeing if it “sparked joy”. But as time flew by, I turned into the Anti-Hoarder (which my family members began to view more as the Anti-Christ, as they began to sleep with their treasured possessions under their pillows lest they wake up to nothing). If I held everything and waited for a joy spark, we would not leave until Christmas as we had so much stuff!
We had a garage sale and off-loaded a huge amount of items despite bad weather forecasted for the weekend. Denver had been sunny and in the 70’s and 80’s, but in true Denver May fashion (we had a blizzard on Mother’s Day 3 years running), the weather dipped into the 40’s and 50’s with rain on the ONLY weekend we could do the sale. So, we started it on Wednesday at 3 PM and continued it through the weekend. We had 3 garages of stuff!!! By Sunday, we were down to 5 boxes of things for the AmVets to collect.
I do think that doing lots of blasts on social media such as Nextdoor app and Facebook marketplace helped a lot with the success of our garage sale. I would take pics of individual items in the garage sale (the good stuff) and post and that seemed to bring in a lot of people. And of course, traditional signage throughout the neighborhood.
Thanks to a trip to Container Store (not frugal by any means, but you can find anything for ANY space), Dollar Tree, IKEA and Target, we managed to make things quite functional in our small space, although we are neophytes to this new life and I am sure our organization practices will change.
We have amazing neighbors in Potter Highlands. Our friends and neighbors, Debbie and Douglas, were super cool and let us park our trailer on their section of our neighborhood carriage lot. We were able to plug our trailer into our home’s electricity. It made it very convenient to get situated for our new lifestyle.
Our last hurdle today before we depart was to back our 10 foot wide trailer down our 150-foot alley that is 12 feet wide in one place thanks to a telephone pole and the fence on the opposite side. We have done this 3 times so far, and it is always anxiety-inducing to the point where I have bad dreams the night before. One of the biggest challenges in an old neighborhood with narrow streets is just finding a time when the street doesn’t have cars obstructing our wide pathway. We would not have been able to get out at all yesterday, but thanks to third Friday street cleaning, our window opened this morning!
We put our phones on speaker and use them as walkie-talkies. I watch the back end and tell Hans which way to turn. (It all sounds like a weirdly sexual dialogue. ” ‘Ok. Go right a little. A little more. Oh! That is WAY too much. Oh, that is it. RIGHT THERE. Keep it straight and DON’T let it drift.’ “)
The first time took us over an hour, the second time, 40 minutes. Today we managed this in 25 minutes! So, we are getting better. And no property was damaged. And we are still married! Yay!
This is our new home all packed up and ready for our journey to Texas to visit my Mom at my family’s ranch and drop off some things that we do not want to part with but that we deem unsuitable for our current lifestyle.
So incredible to think that this metal box and pick up truck hold everything in the world that we have. It is a strange, yet liberating feeling.