My generation was blessed to have baby boomer parents who gave us good schooling, piano lessons, and opportunities their parents had never dreamed of. They also somehow gave us the idea that collecting stuff equals security and success. Millennials, however, value experiences over possessions, and I’m going with them. Traveling is easiest if you’re ready for it all the time. Here’s what worked for me.
- Move. Last year, after several years of planning, we decided to go ahead with our long-term plan of moving internationally. We sold our house, put some of our belonging in storage, and moved to an apartment in order to downsize and facilitate the big move. If you’re not ready to do that, try these things:
- Make sure all your possessions work for you. Get rid of clothes you don’t wear, toys that no one plays with anymore, tools that you bought but never used. Just donate them. It’s faster than selling, and you’ll be blessing somebody.
- If you have to buy something, make it do double duty. Need a barbeque grill? Get one you can camp with. Need new walking shoes? Get ones that work for hiking, too.
- Buy less stuff. Peerby, although limited geographically, lets you borrow stuff from locals. Borrow things that you’ll only use once. Rent vacation equipment and machinery
- Buy better stuff. Buying higher-quality goods usually ensures more durability. You’re a grownup, and your size won’t change much, so buy classic clothes that will last instead of trendy stuff. Just say no to Old Navy low-rise jeans.
- I do love the sight, smell, and feel of books, but ours were overflowing their shelves. Get rid of books that aren’t friends you’ll visit again. Learn to use e-books.
- That being said, keep what is truly valuable to you. I’ll keep our battered copy of Goodnight Moon till I leave this earth.
- Bathrooms and kitchens tend to build up supplies that expire before they are used up. Check expiration dates and get rid of whatever’s not good.
- Make your gifts experiences, not possessions. Take your birthday kid to an amusement park, take your sweetie out to dinner, take the family skiing for Christmas. If that’s cost-prohibitive, use your entertainment or vacation money. Make it an occasion to remember.
- I use my gym bag as an overnight duffel. I keep a double of my morning makeup routine in the bag, so I just have to throw in clothes, prescription meds, and a phone charger to be ready to go. Because I have far-off college kids and an aging mom, I have to be ready to hit the road fast.