What Living in a Small Space has Taught Me About “Stuff”

I remember the thrill of decorating our house in St. Paul, making each room different. I remember seeing things in stores or at garage sales and thinking about how perfect those items would be in our house.

My first major eye-opener to the amount of “stuff” we had acquired over the years was when we had to move out of our house and into the motorhome. Sifting through the endless piles, we had to decide what we would bring on the road with us, what we would keep for the future, and what we would give away.

It seemed like a forever-task.

Living in the motorhome for the past two years has given me a different perspective on “stuff.” No longer do I wander through Target, pining over that throw pillow that would fit perfectly in my living room or bedroom.


No longer do I covet little gadgets and items that I have no use for. Now, I look around my home and think, “What can I get rid of?”

Living in a small space has taught me how much I hate clutter — I can’t stand it when things are out of place, when the carpet gets even a little dirty, when the laundry starts to pile up. There is no place to escape the clutter and mess; I am forced to have it right in my face because we live in 300 sq. ft.

When I want a new book, I need to decide what other book goes to make room. Or, if I don’t want to get rid of any books, what other objects am I willing to give up so that my library can grow?

Since it seems books are the thing I have the hardest time parting with, I have started to get rid of clothing to make more room.

Clothes went to Goodwill to fit two new stacks of books.

Still, things start to pile up.


I have learned to focus on what is important to us.

Can’t beat eating breakfast while enjoying coffee and a new book!

In dreaming about our future home, our floor plan has changed several times to account for the things we now see as more important.

Keeping our home simple means that we have more time to do the activities we enjoy.

I have learned that one thing I miss about having a home with solid walls and floors is not really the space, but the wall space. When we go to all these art and music festivals, we are drawn to the works of talented artists — but living in a motorhome means we do not have wall space to collect works of art.

Living in a small space has taught me that we would rather have experiences than stuff, that we would rather keep our lives simpler without the clutter, and that the stuff we do have should enrich our lives in some way. We are no longer the consumers we once were, and I think we are both really happy with this.



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