Stuff … easy come, easy go

Our friends just rented a beautifully furnished home with an amazing view of the Sea of Cortez for the last few weeks they are here in San Carlos. (They had to move out of their previous rental due to a sewer blockage). I saw it for the first time tonight when we went for dinner.

The owner has created a ‘cross wall’ in the dining room – one wall covered in a fantastic collage of various shapes and sizes of crosses. Beautiful and comfortable furniture invited me to relax while the tall, chunky candles on the coffee table cast a warm glow around the living room.

I absolutely loved the decor and would so love to live in a house like that. But at the same time, I absolutely do not want to own a home right now, or spend the money and time needed to decorate it. I am surprised at how content I’ve been to rent a furnished home for the last ten months. I have not purchased a single item of decor, furniture, or household goods the entire time we’ve been here (unless you count light bulbs).  Wait … I did purchase one inside and three outside plants, since there were empty pots available to use, as well as material to sew thin curtains for M.’s office to cut the glare.

In less than two months we’ll be moving to another furnished rental home and preparing for our first child. I do plan on buying some baby furniture and a small desk, but nothing else is needed. After so many years of wanting my own home and being envious of others, I’m now so relieved I haven’t ever owned a home.

When M. and I moved from Colorado to Mexico last June, we  sold, gave away, or threw away about 80% of our belongings. Furniture, plants, clothes, dishes and other kitchen items, tools, knick knacks, rugs, beds, TV’s and stereos … stuff. I spent about three or four months posting things on Craigslist, giving things to friends and making Goodwill runs, and filling up the trash bins. I do wonder how much money I spent on all the stuff that I no longer have – or even remember I had! (Actually, I do have several boxes stored in a friend’s garage that we will be getting this summer. That means going through the process one more time!)

I admit, I’ve never been great at decorating, so my heart certainly wasn’t broken to see everything disappear slowly while waiting for the countdown. Anticipating my future adventurous new life made the stuff I had seem less important and less necessary.

Our goal was to bring only what could fit in, or on, our cars. M. did pull his motorcycle on a trailer and we packed a few bins full of stuff and strapped it to the top of his truck (see this post for photos). So, with a mini-SUV, an old Bronco pulling a new motorcycle, our stuff, and our dog, we headed down to Mexico.

Many people asked both M. and I if we were going to put our stuff in storage – because we certainly needed to have it, right?! (I really don’t think people thought I had the most amazing home decor that they couldn’t imagine me living without it. Were they assuming we wouldn’t like Mexico?)

Let’s just say that M. and I had decided to keep our stuff. We could have packed up everything and trucked it over to a climate controlled, inside storage unit of 150 sq. ft. for $138/month. That means … for a mere $1,656/year we could hang on to our furniture,  clothes, dishes and other kitchen items, tools, knick knacks, rugs, beds, TV’s, and other stuff. During that time we would live in Mexico, have fun adventures together, buy a sailboat and learn how to sail, and travel for part of the year.

At some point, we would need to go back to Colorado, unpack the storage unit and decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw away. Would that be perhaps two years later ($3,312) or maybe even five years later ($8,280)? Personally, I’d rather take a trip to Europe than store a couch and a bunch of boxes in a closet that I have to pay for, while forgetting what I even put in there to begin with!

I’m sure that we will purchase a home at some point – and fill it up with, well, stuff. But for now, we are both content and excited for our adventures together. And for us, that means having a mobile lifestyle.

Our bodega (Spanish for storage area) in our rental home.

See, we still have stuff!

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4 Comments

Filed under Life Journal, Moving to Mexico

4 responses to “Stuff … easy come, easy go

  1. Awesome post. I too have been on both sides. Two years ago, I was making more money than I ever thought possible, and buying whatever I wanted. Was I happy? Sort of, but now that I am broke, I am probably happier than I have ever been. Life is so not about stuff. Good for you for understanding that. By the way, I LOVED the wall of crosses. That was so beautiful. If you are going to collect something…

  2. Oh Clara, you are SOOOOOO inspiring me to start my Spring cleaning and get rid of so much “stuff.” So glad we aren’t paying for storage at least, but it DOES sure take up space.

  3. Sorry. I know I already commented on this post, but one of the other blogs that I visit regularly had a post that is related to your post and I thought you would enjoy it. Here it is:
    http://richarddahlstrom.com/2011/04/19/insanity-antidote-simplicity/

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