Ruminate – Who has time to ruminate?

Pack it up, we are moving again!

Joel’s contract ended on February 28th and it’s going to be a slow process between two huge companies to get a renewal funded. And that’s not guaranteed. We’ve been fortunate that our housing was covered while Joel was on location but with no definite time frame or promise of renewal, we are retreating to somewhere cheaper. So, it’s back to chilly Minneapolis.

We’ve gotten pretty good at short notice moves. Final word that funding would be delayed didn’t come until the 26th or so.


How do we manage it?

It takes organization and a shared to-do list to make it happen.

This time we secured a new apartment, ordered the utilities, rented the basic furniture and closed out what we needed to here in California. And made our travel plans that includes an actual vacation in Hawaii before driving to Minneapolis. All in less than a week.

Granted, we chose to return to the same apartment complex in Minneapolis so that made the biggest decision easy and the rest fell into place. 

Packing is where the most time is spent as we must cull any items that won’t fit in the Element for the return trip. The physical limits of the car really make the difference on keeping our life simple and portable.


Utah’s Scenic Highway 12 on the way to Bryce Canyon

Actually, we did ruminate.

Choosing to live a nomadic life took a long time evaluating what we really wanted out of life and how to achieve it. This is important for all of us to do from time to time as we prepare for life changes such as becoming an empty nester; making significant career moves or retiring; or simply wanting to live more nimbly in today’s economy.

The preparation time before launching took several years as we downsized slowly from our home in Austin. This was the most emotionally wrenching part of the process – each item seemed to have some sentimental value that needed to be worked through. My advice, start with the easy stuff before really digging in.


My top tricks to cleaning out

Put a new roof on the house. OK, you may need to adapt this to your specific situation. We needed to completely clear out the attic storage while our roof was being replaced. I wasn’t making much progress sorting through boxes in the living room so we opened a storage unit. The trick here is that these storage units are ridiculously expensive and we set a deadline to closing it out. Nothing was allowed to go back up in the attic until it had been repacked as vital to our future or so emotionally laden that I couldn’t quite face it yet. (I have some self-forgiveness…)

Use a first month free or half price deal and stick to the one month! We’ve taken advantage of these offers multiple times for short term needs. There was no limit to how often the deal could be used with this company.


We have a frequent flyer account with this spot!


Cultivate a circle of needy friends. Or think of yourself as a generous soul. Either way, start giving away things. If you have items of real value, sell them if you can. If not, find a new home for them. We consigned our big pieces of furniture and sprinkled the rest of our housewares and garden tools among our friends before becoming frequent donators to refugee services and Goodwill. Early in our marriage, some older couples in our church took pity on us and helped furnish our home at steep discounts whenever they upgraded. It was time for us to do the same.


Embrace your inner hillbilly. Beverly Hillbilly that is. If Granny can’t fit on the roof, she gets left behind. First we pack the car tight with boxes and bikes then stuff a roof bag of replaceable, less valuable items up on top. Once the car is full, that’s it. If we really can’t find space for something that we can not live without, we have it shipped ahead to be retrieved from family and friends. But that means something will have to go before the next move. Putting physical space limits can be one way to make choices happen.


Full Up!


Having had both our fathers pass relatively young, played a role in multiple mid-life crisis for us. The ruminating we did led us to realize that we really wanted to travel and explore while still young and healthy. Our lifestyle is not for everyone but many of the the tricks we used to downsize can be used to lighten just about anyone’s life.


How about you, have you managed to lighten up?


This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: Ruminate