Guest Post by Melanie Scroggins
The minimalist lifestyle has always interest me, I love reading stories about how people are able to change their whole lifestyle which more rich in experiences than material items. I am excited to have Melanie Scroggins share her experience and what she has learned by making the change!
Two years ago, my soon to be husband and I were watching a documentary about tiny homes.
I fantasized about building and owning such a house; just big enough for everything we need and nothing more.
Wouldn’t that be nice? I thought.
Two years later, we bought and renovated an RV in which we now live full-time.
I used to think that people who lived in RVs were, in so many words, homeless or at least out on their luck. It never occurred to me that those people might have chosen that kind of lifestyle on purpose.
I mean, we did.
From what I’ve seen online, many people either see minimalism as a hard and fast rule kind of lifestyle or they think it’s absurd. There isn’t much in between.
When we first considered moving into an RV, I didn’t think of everything we’d be giving up. I was transfixed on the possibilities that kind of life could bring.
And I think that proves true for most decisions. Until you’re ready to take the leap, you don’t really understand why anyone else would.
I have a greater appreciation for individuals who choose to sell everything and move; who make decisions that work for them and their loved ones while not looking back. I’ve also learned a few key things from minimalism that I did not initially intend
- Only when you let go of everything can you realize what’s worth holding onto.
Before moving into our RV, my husband and I sold about 90% of our stuff. I have come to realize that the act of letting go symbolizes something more than simply attesting to the idea that we don’t need many things to survive.
When you get to a place within yourself where you can physically part with the things in your life, you can then allow for the things that matter to shine brighter.
Surrounded by people, places, and things doesn’t give us much room to think let alone understand what truly matters to us.
It was when we let go of our stuff and set sail on a new adventure just the two of us that we began to understand what was worth keeping in our lives.
2. Permanence has its place.
My husband and I were talking about our next adventure and what we’ve learned from moving into an RV and over multiple state lines. We were quiet and contemplative when he said, “permanence has its place.”
Living in an RV provides many challenges but it also provides a lot of freedom people may not see at first. However, this particular conversation pertained to the former.
We are born and bred Texans, though it’s a rare occasion for me to speak fondly of the Lone Star State. But this conversation was one of those times.
We were both feeling nostalgic and a bit sentimental thinking of the friends and family we left behind. It was the only time in the time we’ve lived in Oregon that we both thought maybe our path would lead us back to the place we wanted to get away from.
I found myself fantasizing about hosting friends and having a place build on top of the ground that didn’t sway when one walked to and fro. I could see the bathroom we’d have and the yard out back. Just because we’ve chosen a simple life doesn’t mean we can’t live in a house. I thought. Maybe we want something a little more… substantial. A little more grounded.
Paring down what you have and stripping away what everyone else thinks and the implications of those thoughts for your life provides perspective, especially the kind you never thought possible.
3. The simplest things are the most beautiful.
The short days and cold nights up here on the Oregon coast cause one to feel a bit cramped when inside for too long. But I’ll tell you, having to walk to the showers at the front office of the RV Park when our hot water heater is out gives me the rare opportunity to see all the stars in the sky on a clear night.
In those moments, it’s hard to think of enjoying the 30 seconds it takes me to get from one end of the park to the other, but it’s in those moments I see myself with more clarity. Just me and the cold Oregon night. Not all are clear or dry, but when given the chance I can meet more of who I am along the way.
The most unique aspect of minimalism is that it can mean whatever makes the most sense to you. For me, it means learning to let go, embracing the challenge of being grounded, and seeing beauty in the little things. What does minimalism mean to you?
About the Author
Melanie Scroggins is the owner and creator of her brainchild Mine Space. Mine Space is
dedicated to educating, empowering, and encouraging others to live more intentionally by
taking a physical and emotional inventory of their spaces. Melanie is also the host of
Mine Space Over Coffee, a podcast where she and her guests discuss all the things that
make us human. She currently lives in Melvin the RV full-time with her husband.
Mine Space on iTunes: www.mine-space.org/itunes