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Can I Live with Less and Still Be Happy?

You would think the words less and happy would never go together in the same sentence. How could having LESS bring more HAPPINESS to a person? Isn’t that what we have been taught in our culture… that having more “stuff” leads to more happiness?

When we decided to sell our house and begin having LESS JUNK AND MORE JOURNEY, people frequently asked us the question, “Are you getting something bigger?” Even to this day when it comes up that we sold our house, the next statement is usually suggesting we upgraded in some way for either space or just simply something more expensive.

It seems to never cross anyone’s mind that you would want to downgrade and live below your means instead of above it. Why would it? We live in a society of debt and maxed out credit cards and commercials telling us “we deserve it”.

I am not saying one way is better than another. If you can afford it then enjoy it. We as a family took the challenge to simplify life to the standard we wanted to live instead of the standard society had set for us.

Its is hard to give up space because when you do so you are giving up the objects that it holds.

Its is hard to give up space because when you do so you are giving up the objects that it holds.

Giving up space meant giving up some of our clothes, shoes, dishes, storage, electronics, home gym, pretty much extra of just about everything!

After that statement I have probably not convinced anyone this is the life for them. So I know you’re thinking right about now that we are crazy and why would anyone do such a thing? Here are my top 5 reasons of why we can live with less and have even more happiness:

1.) More Time This was the #1 reason we chose to live this lifestyle. We wanted our time spent on doing the things we enjoyed instead of putting time into working more hours to pay for “things”. It’s not that we don’t work or like to work. My husband and I are both hard workers. We just want to work smart and make the most of our time.

The more stuff I’ve gotten rid of, the more time I receive in return. How is that possible you ask? Less stuff means less space to clean….Hallelujah!  Cleaning the whole RV takes me about 30-45 minutes depending on how much we let it get out of control. We went from over 1700 square feet of hardwood floors (a nightmare to clean) in a  multi level home to 300 square feet. That is a huge time saver.

Also, putting things away is much faster in 300 square feet. Doing laundry in the past meant climbing from the basement where our laundry room was located to the next two levels of bedrooms. Carrying laundry baskets up and down the stairs is not a chore I will miss. Now I do my laundry literally three steps from the bedroom.

Did I mention my washer and dryer is a all in one combo unit so no need to move laundry from the washer to dryer… say what! Who knew they made such a thing? It’s magical. Everything is so conveniently located in such a small area, I most likely gain  hours a week not running around the house putting things away. 

I work less hours at my job because we have gotten rid of any debt so the need to work full time is lifted. Having more free time brings joy to my life because I am able to do the things I love and spend more time with my family, which was my ultimate goal.

2.) Less stuff equals less stress The more we have the more we have to worry about.

The more we have the more we have to worry about.

The more stuff we accumulate, the higher the risk of it breaking, getting lost, and cluttering our lives both physically and mentally. Having less stuff has decluttered both my mind and living space. It’s a win, win!

3.) Waste less Because of the small amount of space, we are limited to the things we use on a frequent basis and not a lot of extra fluff. That means no duplicates and no hanging on to that object I have been meaning to use. Its is the daily essentials.

This is especially true with meal planning. The fridge fills up quickly due to it’s petite nature so we have to make sure our meals are planned out and leftovers are eaten.

With a residential fridge food would get lost in the abyss and discovered when it was almost to the point of being unidentifiable. Now by the end of the week the fridge and cabinets are almost completely emptied cutting down on waste.

This is true in other areas of the RV as well such as bathroom cabinets, closets, and drawers. We only keep on hand what we absolutely need. So no overflowing basement and garage to mess with anymore!

4.) Travel Okay this reason is one of my favorites. As a family, we love being outdoors and traveling so it only made sense for us to chose an RV to downsize. Now that we have a little more freedom over our finances, due to the fact that we sold our house, this allows us to get rid of our mortgage and pay cash for our RV and vehicles.

In return this gave us the opportunity to travel more. RVing is a great way to see the country on a budget. Campgrounds are usually easy on the pocket book in most areas and you can’t beat that we get to take our house on the road with us so we are always packed for our next adventure.

5.) Save Money

I explained under the travel area how we freed up some finances by eliminating payments. When we are not traveling, we rent a RV spot in our hometown and utilities are included. We dropped our living expenses by more than 40% while we are stationary. This enables us to save money up for a couple months before we head out again for our next journey.

I have also noticed we save money due to the lack of space to fill. I don’t buy home decorations anymore (which was a huge weakness of mine when we owned a house) and our closets are very limited in space so shopping for clothes (another weakness of mine) is now shopping for only what we need.

I have created a capsule wardrobe that I will talk about soon and it is great for not only the small space dweller but also for anyone who wants to eliminate the stress of an overfilled closet with still nothing to wear.

So yes….in my experience over the past few months of having less I have discovered that I can live with less and be happy. In all honesty, it has brought me even more happiness just by eliminating things I thought brought me happiness but in fact it is my relationships and experiences that bring me joy.

Happiness is a mindset that is available to everyone if you just chose to embrace it with all your heart. I encourage you to take this challenge and see if you can be happy with less and live life with more freedom.

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