9 Suitcases 9 days to Pack: A Challenge in Simplicity

Beginning our road adventures without the house on wheels is forcing us to release more of our possessions than we first planned. Amtrak allows for 9 suitcases. I’m thinking, okay great – let’s travel lightly: First pack the Vitamix (20 lbs of blender), now the water ionizer, my massage table, food dehydrator (nope, we’ll ship that to our first stop)….. We really don’t own many “things,” but our stuff is expensive, heavy and well – very useful for our lifestyle. While I know we will be happier without a hub-bub of material, I need some serious and quick reflection on what’s truly important to us.

So I made a list. Well several.

Necessities for RV Living

  • warm blankets and pillows
  • towels
  • clothes
  • toiletries
  • tent and camp supplies
  • bikes
  • beach umbrella
  • kite
  • Vitamix
  • spiral slicer (oh yes!)
  • food dehydrator
  • water filter
  • minimal dishware and utensils (bamboo and handmade bowls + McDonald’s Dinnerware )
  • yoga mats
  • weights
  • kitchen supplies (nut-milk bag, cutting board)
  • cds
  • family photos
  • food/herbs

Work and Homeschool

  • 2 laptops
  • camera
  • Flip Cam
  • books and research
  • biomat
  • healing stones
  • massage table
  • tapestries
  • drum
  • rain stick

Dougie

  • blocks
  • crayons and paper/coloring books
  • fave toys (Woody, Buzz, Toy Story gang)
  • ball and glove
  • puzzles
  • playing cards

We have to cross out things like the massage table and bikes which cannot fit on the Amtrak, and are easily replaceable after a quick stint on Craig’s List. The kite and weights will have to go too. Our clothes are already minimal and ready to be squished in the vacuum travel bags.

Things like my juicer, ice cream maker, Magic Bullet Express, which is awesome for cultured veggie making, are all going to have to stay behind. So is my Dyson Vac– The King of Clean. I sure will miss him.

Good thing the dehydrator is being shipped to meet us when we arrive in Chi-town. Can’t live on the road without kale chips.

So, is this list practical?

We’ll need to replace our cookware once we score the RV because lugging it doesn’t make sense. Have you lived in an RV? Any tips on living light and still covering all the bases? We’ve made a commitment to make only sustainable purchases – those which are as eco friendly as possible, long-lasting, and can be re-used, re-purposed or recycled. Of course, we’re not opposed to alley shopping.

Now, to do something sustainable with the great items that will be left behind.

Making the decision to simplify isn’t always easy as pie – even if you aren’t completely married to your stuff. Fact is, we bought our stuff (or rescued it from the alley). So, we are responsible for it. We won’t throw it away. Where is “away” anyway? We won’t give it to someone who won’t use it or someone who will dump it soon.

We’ve chosen to list the big stuff on Craig’s List and host a Bon Voyage Easter Potluck to give the rest away to friends. If you’re in Santa Monica this Sunday and want to have dinner and possibly take home a crock pot – talk to me. Whatever is still here Monday will be taking a walk to the best alley locay for dumpster diving or the Salvation Army down the street.

I can’t wait to see what actually makes it on to the train with us, what we ship to meet us and what we say goodbye to. I’ll keep you posted.

We’ll be back in SoCal this summer for more adventures and with even less stuff!

xoxo

Gina

3 thoughts on “9 Suitcases 9 days to Pack: A Challenge in Simplicity

  1. stacey shonkwiler April 20, 2011 — 3:01 pm

    Glad to hear you are venturing this way. I don’t have a camper lead. Sorry. You might want to check with Dave, who undoubtedly knows someone, who knows someone else, whose brother’s cousin sells used RVs. Interested in hearing about the results you get on the alternative fuel you will be using.

    Sad to hear you are getting rid of Dougie’s puppet. But I applaud your ability to proceed through life with so little. Have a blissed adventure and please let me know when you arrive in the area.

    Is Easter your tentative date of departure?

    1. Hey Stacy!!!!

      Thanks for reading!
      Actually, we are keeping the puppet. Funny, it’s one of his total faves (and mine) we wouldnt dream if ditching King Carl Castle. we’re leaving on the 27th. I’ll be on orland teaching on may 1 til like 6:30.. maybe we can go to Cilantro for dinner or something.
      xoxo

      G

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