So fun fact, most of the emails and blogs that you read start out as an audio note. I like to talk and talking brings a sense of ease when sharing my thoughts that writing doesn't always provide. You can often find me recording my thoughts when I'm driving around or going on walks.
Recently, I recorded some thoughts that I was planning to turn into a blog and share later this month. As I listened again, I realized, I want to get this out now and I want you to hear it (but I'll give you the option to read it as well).
In this voice note, I share my transition from van life to AirBnB living to renting an apartment for the next year.
It's about 12 min long because I've chosen to leave it unedited. Sometimes you'll hear me say something twice because I would write it differently, sometimes I'll cuss, sometimes, I'll laugh really loudly lol. Ultimately I think you'll get a laugh out of what I kept that normally I would edit out while writing. If you're currently surrounded by people, then I would suggest putting in headphones.
Press play above to listen or keep scrolling to read the transcript.
TL;DL (Too Long; Didn't Listen): the power of decluttering lies not in the cleanliness of your space, but in the possibility in your mind.
This is going to be a blog.
Blog title - "From van life to Airbnb living to apartment living". Begin. A lot of people thought that living out of a van was about living out of a van. But much like decluttering isn't about cleaning up your house. Downsizing wasn't about the desire to live out of a moving vehicle.
It was about the desire to be able to choose.
I often talk with people about what I do, and they react by telling me about all the things that they would never get rid of. And the reality is, I don't care, because I'm not really attached to the stuff. Because for me, it's not about the stuff. It's about the why behind it.
On a podcast recently, I shared that space is equivalent to possibility.
When you move into a brand new apartment, it's empty. And while the word empty often carries a negative connotation, the reality is that that apartment feels full... but of something intangible - possibility. It feels like we could create whatever we want, inside of that space and have complete and total ownership of what it looks like. That is why I choose to declutter. That is why I choose to live a relatively clutter free life, and why I help others do the same.
We're not kids anymore. We're not fortunate enough to move forward with our lives with zero baggage - tangible or intangible. We're adults. And so in order for us to live our wildest dreams, maybe even our childhood dreams, we have to let go of everything that we have been carrying. We have to let go to create space for introspection and possibility.
Living in a van taught me what's really important to me. What's really important to me is my family, my work and ME (laughs) and my relationships. But it also taught me that there's nuance even in that. It's not important for me to have a ton of friends but to have quality friends. To know that if I was traveling the country, their door would be open to me. To know that even if we haven't seen each other in a long time I could hop out of my van and be greeted with the biggest hug and the biggest smile.
Van life taught me that I need to have the freedom to travel and so I've let go of a lot to live my life accordingly. I don't have debt.... well, that's not entirely true (laughs!) I try not to have debt because entrepreneurship is a b*tch! But I try not to have debt and I do do my best to live within my means and to buy what I can actually afford to pay for because I don't need another thing weighing me down. Van life taught me that it is all in your head. All of it. Whatever you think is possible, whatever you think is out there in the world, whatever you are experiencing in your life is something you first created in your mind.
Van life taught me to play and by that I mean to experience something different, different things before I decide or trust that I know what I want. It taught me that through experience I could learn what I truly desire and and leverage my instinct to make the best decision.
From that experience, I started living out of Airbnbs. Funny thing is I almost bought a condo, but the stars didn't seem to align and I thought that was probably a sign. So I started living out of Airbnb's in my hometown. And I remember I met a man whose daughter was moving into one of the condos that I was staying in and he said, "why on earth would you be here if you could be anywhere?" and I told him, I want to figure out where I want to be. I have the freedom to choose to live anywhere, and I looooove Texas. #texanslooooveTexas. I can't imagine myself anywhere else and it's important to me to be close to my family. With that, the Metroplex is my oyster. So I bounced [around].
I tried living in the city again to see how it felt. [thinks] "Did being close to bars and restaurants mean as much to me now as it used to in my 20s?" I tried living in suburbia with some of the amenities still close by - walking distance to bars, restaurants and coffee shops so I could work. Then I tried living in suburbia, but close enough to our lake so that I could spend as much time as I wanted outdoors. I also lived in studio apartments. I lived in turned in complexes. I lived in multi unit dwellings on the first floor. I lived in garage apartments that were studio setups. I tested... I tested everything I thought I knew about how I wanted to live and now I'm getting an apartment and I'm so excited. A little one bedroom - it's perfect. The staff knows me by name and face. The staff knows their residents intimately. The unit has a fireplace, which I love. It's on a walking trail, which I love and it's 15 minutes from everything I need by car.
If it hadn't been for van life and Airbnb living don't know where I'd be, but I don't know that I'd feel so happy.
Whether you declutter on your own or one day become a client of Nacho Average Fro I hope that you will focus on creating space more than you will focus on the number of things you choose to own.
The power of decluttering lies not in the cleanliness of your home but in the possibility [it creates] in your mind.