So, I finally did it. That pile I made, about four years ago and wrote a blog about,  clearing the physical crap out of my life.

I finally got rid of it. Well, I got rid of some of it anyway.

I still think my methodology for minimalising was sound, it’s just taken me a darn long time to actually put the plan into action.

You can read the blog i wrote previously, but distilled down it came to this; over forty or so years I have succumbed to the disease of consumerism and have bought all of the things that I believed that I needed around me to make myself comfortable, to make life work. The list is ridiculous and I won’t bore you with the whole thing but there were clothes I never wore, gadgets I didn’t need, time saving devices that I never used and status symbols that were expensive and said to the world “Look what I can buy”, but never used.

Well four years ago I bought some stack and store boxes; big ones, and I went through every drawer, every bag, every closet, every nook and cranny that had become home to these things and made a big pile. A pile so big, I might add, that it took over my office at home to the extent that it became almost a piece of furniture. I walked round it like it was a sofa and just got used to it being there.

Two weeks ago, I looked at it and, out loud, asked myself “What the fuck are you doing?”

I determined to get rid of it once and for all.

For a long time now, Adrian and I have had the ‘zombie’ conversation (don’t pretend you haven’t had it!) about ‘what if the shit hits the fan?’, ‘If you had to grab a bag with the most important things in, what would you take?’ I’m not talking about being a ‘prepper’ or a criminal flight risk, but that question you have to ask at the start of this journey. “What would I take, if I could take one bag, when my house caught fire?”

You see it’s not about survival, this conversation, it’s about paring your life down to the things you actually NEED, to be happy with where you are and what you have, right now.

Two weeks ago, I looked at it and, out loud, asked myself “What the fuck are you doing?”

This has been a big part of what Adrian and I talk about when we go camping and every time we come home we go through a “didn’t need that” ritual and have reduced our camping kit down to a fairly manageable size and weight, taking only what we really need for the trip

Well, what if you could do that for your whole life?

How much freedom would that afford me to move house, move around my house, get rid of that chest of drawers and buy a reading chair, get a bigger bed, go on holiday or maybe even downsize my house once the kids have moved out?

It’s such a refreshing thing to go on holiday and pull out the contents of a single drawer and know that this is everything you need to live for a week or two, anywhere in the world.

That’s what my journey is.

For a couple of years now, my wife and I have been talking about packing a bag, jumping on a plane and going where our heart takes us. However, that little demon in the back of my mind is constantly there saying;

“But what if they don’t have Wi-Fi? You should own a Sat phone, just in case!” <I search Amazon for Satellite Phones>.

Then He says “What if they don’t have a map shop? – you need a global GPS! <I search eBay for hand-held GPS>.

“What if it’s cold or hot or prone to sand-storms? – you need…” <I search every online retailer for ski gloves, thermal leggings, and goggles, Hawaiian shorts>.

Then he pulls out the big guns; “You know if the plane crashes and you survive, the stuff you might need?” <I break Amazon>… You get the idea.

That’s how I have been programmed for all my life by TV, Magazines, bus-stop posters, junk mail, all forms of advertising, YouTube prepping videos, zombie movies, stuff my friends own, the car next to me in the traffic, all problems I have tried to solve with retail answers.

Well, no more!

I am not ‘bugging out’, OK? If you Google this, you will soon see what I mean. I’m just freeing myself of the junk.

My first step was to impose a purchase embargo on myself. I set some strict rules as to what I can and cannot buy. I have allowed myself food and drink (obviously), a moderate socialising budget, household bills like the mortgage and car insurance, services, such as car fuel and repairs and plumbing repairs and replacements, such as light bulbs or fuses.

Basically, everything else is taboo. I just don’t need it in my life or in my bag.

The first thing I noticed was a change in my bank account. No frivolous spending made a huge difference to my monetary wealth. Secondly, I noticed a freedom; I don’t even bother looking in shops anymore because I know there is no point. That alone has saved me both money and time. Instead of wandering around shops at lunchtime, I now sit in the park and look at trees and birds and go back to work refreshed, rather than wolfing down my lunch and then debating with myself as to whether I should buy that shirt!

It feels amazing!

But a couple of weeks ago I took a drastic step. I boxed up about a third of the pile in my office, put it in the car and sold it at a car boot sale. Bags, DVDs, clothing, household items, gadgets, they all went. Within the space of two hours, I had turned an obstacle into £120. I have to be honest, it wasn’t easy. My demon kept popping up and saying “you’re selling that for five pounds? YOU PAID TWENTY FOR IT, YOU MORON!”

It felt really good though, to turn to him and say “Just shut the fuck up – it’s gone, I have space back, I have money and I don’t have to think about that twenty port USB hub ever again.”

Every item I converted to money gave me back a piece of my house, a piece of my mind and a piece of freedom. Good God it felt good!

So, OK, I still have a pile in my office because I’m not a total idiot – I know there are some things you can sell at a car boot sale for three pounds that just aren’t worth putting on eBay and there are items that still have a value. That is phase two. I’ll write about that process too.

So, where am I going on this ramble?

Well, imagine a life, when you hit your fifties, when you have reached your peak earning potential, peak fitness potential, you don’t need to be a full-time Dad anymore and where you aren’t surrounded by the results of the money you have wasted on trinkets for all of your life, but where your life is so free of possessions that you can put everything you need to be comfortable into a medium sized bag, get on a plane and go to see the Grand Canyon, or The Outback or the South American Rain Forest, but not only that, be able to say “you know what, I have all I need in this bag, I’ll stay another month.”

That’s the freedom I’m aiming for, and I’d love for you to follow me on my journey.

Terry Davis

Stone Circle

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