Rving/ Minimalist Living
Today was a lovely day- the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the temperature was just right. I took the opportunity to throw open the doors and curtains on my 1972 Holiday Rambler and get some work done.
I spent most of the day out there, working on the ceiling. I also hung up the clock that I have redone. Which lead me to realize that I haven’t shared anything about my Rambler lately.
My RV is made with a clock in the main living area, built into the cabinets over the sofa. The original piece was falling apart and broken when I got it.
So I took it down, ripped off the old numbers (what was left of them), repainted it, made new numbers, jazzed it up, then replaced the hands and the mechanism.
I used acrylic paints on it. I started with a white base and then splattered colors that match my throw pillows and future curtains (I’ll share that with you when they are hung up) across the white.
I used numbers that were cut from scrapbooking paper and added buttons for the dots, using paint to glue them down.
The hands are a dark royal blue and one is a moon, the other a sun.
I don’t know if this is what I will leave up permanently, but I think it is definitely an improvement over what was there when I bought it.
Here’s some before and after pics of the clock, along with a sneak peek of how my new ceiling is going to look.
I forgot to get a close up picture of the original clock before I worked on it, but you can see it in this picture I took of the damage to the ceiling:
This documentary, “We the Tiny House People”, is one that I’ve watched multiple times. There’s some really interesting ways to live shown here. Also check out Kirsten’s channel. She has many intriguing videos that are fun to watch. Enjoy!
One of the subjects that has occupied me since I began this journey towards tiny house living is stuff. I have a lot of stuff. It has accumulated over the years, as I have mindlessly purchased things because…. well, who knows why?
I have been reading a lot about minimalism and de-cluttering. I have been taking steps to rid myself of things I don’t want or need.
I don’t want to be owned by my things, which is what I see has been happening. I spend so much unnecessary time taking care of objects. I would rather spend my time, energy, and money elsewhere.
I must have a large closet because I have acquired too many shoes, too many dresses, too many jackets. I must have a wall of bookshelves because I have accumulated hundreds of books. (Now, don’t get me wrong- I love my books and those will be difficult to pare down.)
I don’t want the burden of having to care for and store this many things over my life. I also feel that it’s a bit selfish of me to have 5 coats when some people don’t even have one. I could give some of them away and they would go to better use.
There’s an idea out there that if you buy or possess something that you don’t need or that doesn’t add value to your life, that you are taking away from someone else who does need it.
I know that this doesn’t apply to all things. It does help me to think about that when I am shopping or deciding on what will be leaving my house, though.
It has been surprising to me, discovering how I have become attached to some material possessions that I didn’t think mattered.
At first glance, I’ll think that I can easily throw out, donate, or sell some small object- for instance: a desktop globe that I barely notice on a daily basis.
Then, as I go to move it and I can feel the weight of it in my hand, I’ll start thinking about where I got it and why. Suddenly the thing that I easily would have thrown out minutes before becomes a cherished item.
It’s times like that when I wish my memory wasn’t quite as good as it is. I seem to have a knack for remembering tiny details about silly things. I can remember who gave me things from years ago.
For some reason we, as a society, think we are obligated to keep and store all these momentos from the past. I am no different. I have been programmed to believe that objects are important. Far more important than they truly are.
I have the memories of people and if I need to, I can take a picture of the gift they gave me and then move on with my life. This is what I tell myself.
Still, I feel a tug inside me, like a thud on the side of my stomach, at the moment that I put something that means even the tiniest bit to me in a bag or box to be carried away.
I’m working on this. This thing that makes me feel a little queasy when I say good-bye to an item. I know, logically, that it’s a good move, that I am getting closer to living and being what I believe is right.
It also fades. After a week or so, I’ll look around and I might remember that something used to sit on that shelf, or in that bare spot in the corner. I find myself feeling freer, and happier seeing the empty spaces.
That thing that gave me a pang when I took it away now makes me glad and a bit proud of myself that I got rid of it.
I like the less cluttered space and enjoy my living area more every time I clear it of something.
So, like anything, it is a work in progress. I try to think about why I might be feeling attachment toward an item. A lot of times it has to do with the people or the place and not the object itself.
When I was traveling in foreign countries I made new friends and had amazing experiences. Many times I brought back a souvenir. Those are things that I find fall into the category of my attachment being more about the time, place or person.
Being self-aware and acknowledging the feelings and why I have them helps me to let go.
My favorite blog right now on the subject of minimalism is Be More with Less. Each post is a little pep talk. Which I certainly need at times.
I am also working on the other side of this thing- the stuff I buy. My usual method of purchasing involves me exclaiming, “Oooohhh! That’s pretty!” or some variation of that and then running off to buy whatever it may be.
That’s how I have boxes of brand new high heels in my closet that have never been worn and never will be, at least not by me.
My goal now is to buy with purpose. With intention. To think about why I want it, what it will add to my life. If I do decide to buy something that is not a necessity, something old has to go.
Just because a thing has beauty does not mean that I need to possess it. I can admire from afar.
This process of looking at my possessions in a meaningful way and choosing what is truly important to me is good. It is part of my journey and it is hard at times, but it also helps me to understand myself in new ways.
I’ll leave you with this image from Be More with Less:
The week before last, I spent time restoring the metal emblems on my Rambler to their former red, white and black glory.
Having had no experience in repainting metal anything, I threw myself into it with an “I can do anything” attitude.
There are three emblems on my Rambler- one on the back and one on each side.
When I started painting the first one, I realized it was going to be more difficult than I had imagined. The small details on the pieces were overwhelming. How to get those little letters to stand out?
I had to be very careful about what I was painting and how. I powered through, and after the first one was done, I had a system worked out.
The first one looks worse than the others, but all three emblems look way better than they did before I worked on them.
Overall, I am happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I did this myself and would do them again if I needed to.
I forgot to take a picture of the first one before I began working on it. This is after I started painting.
This post isn’t about my arts and crafts. Although I will be doing some arts, crafts, and DIY for this project and I’ll share those with you.
This post is about a decision I made about what I want for my future.
I have always been drawn to a minimalist lifestyle. It’s something that I know I can do from my travels. I have spent 6 weeks living out of one suitcase. Even then I didn’t use everything in my bag. (Some part of me thinks that these experiences are what I am grasping for- the freedom and excitement I got to live daily while I wandered new places.)
We use and think we need so much more than what we actually do need.
At the end of July I watched a documentary on the tiny house movement and it just clicked for me. That is what I need to be working toward in my life. I felt it immediately and have felt that way every day since.
I started working on designs, planning, and getting rid of excess junk. I cleared out my kitchen cabinets in two days. I became a bit obsessed.
I kept wondering- How the hell would I pay to build a tiny house? Obviously, I’m just going to have to work hard and save up. This isn’t going to happen overnight, that is for sure.
Still, I want some part of the experience now- a “practice run” in tiny living, if you will. So I decided that I want to live in an RV while I plan, save and build my dream tiny home.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I find myself elated to be the proud owner of a 1972 Holiday Rambler!
It needs some work, so I am fixing it up and hope to move in very soon after it is complete.
I am enjoying this project. I am learning a lot of new and exciting things. I like that when it is done, I will have a home that I can take anywhere and that I put the work into.
I can look at it with pride and say “I did that”.
There are so many different ways to live and I have spent many years wondering where my place in the world is. I feel that I am on the right track now. I adore my HR and the community that comes with being a vintage HR owner is awesome.
I will keep you updated. Here’s a look at my Holiday Rambler the day I brought it home.