Travelling Light

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What is the Real Cost?

There is a cost to most things you have, though often it is hidden.  I’m sure you can think of more but some of the costs that spring to my mind immediately are:

  • Initial cost
  • Operating costs
  • Time Investments
  • Space
  • Priorities

We have a large home, over 3000 sq ft not including Nana’s 1000+ apartment. We paid for the house, then we pay higher taxes, utilities etc. to operate it. There is also the time investment with cleaning and maintenance. I spend a lot of time cleaning the house. We’ll be downsizing soon and I am excited about that because the cost of a large house is no longer worth it to us. We would rather have a smaller home that costs less to buy, less to run and less time investment to keep orderly and clean.

The same goes for possessions. To determine if they’re worth the cost, looking beyond what I paid for it and I’m asking myself:

  • Have I used this recently?
  • Will I use it again?
  • Do I like it, love it?
  • Is it useful to me or beautiful to me?
  • Are my children REALLY going to thank me for saving this or is it something they will feel saddled with because “mom saved it all these years, I can’t throw it out now.”
  • Is it worth the space in my home?
  • Is it worth the time it takes me to dust it, clean around it etc?

I’m not held captive by my stuff, whether it is useful or simply just clutter. Though the object may have sentimental value or memories attached to it, I don’t have to keep it. Crafts and pictures were quickly taking over our home a while back until we came up with some creative solutions to storing, displaying and parting with children’s artwork. I also had some childhood and high school memorabilia that I purged, taking a photo of anything important. You see, I still have the memories and now, if needed, the photo of the items to spark that memory. I enjoyed A Helpful Guide to Owning Fewer Toys this week as well since that is another area where we feel quality in terms of the product and the skills it teachers are far better than a large quantity.

A Commitment to Travelling Light

When I was in youth group, we’d go on canoe trips with a portage or two. {For those of you who aren’t sure what a portage is, it’s when you carry your canoe and gear from one lake to another or from the top of the rapids to the bottom or vice versa}. Knowing that we were just going for a couple of days, it was easier to pack just the essentials and a few basic comforts {we didn’t ‘rough it’ too tough!}. The lighter we travelled, the less encumbered we were, the easier the journey was.

“This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”

~Jim Reeves

Those song lyrics run through my head. I don’t remember where I heard the song but it’s stuck with me. I don’t want to be laying up treasures here; spending my precious-never-to-get-back minutes hoarding, storing, cleaning and moving stuff around. I’m here temporarily and with that in mind, it makes it a little easier to travel light.

It stands to reason that less stuff makes it easier to pack up and go, easier to clean your home, quicker to do a fast tidy for company and more free space {they say less visual clutter=less mental clutter}. The Lord talked about possessions a fair amount in the New Testament. I’m seeking to live with my priorities on the eternal. I’m sure you can come up with a good many more perks to travel light.

But I think the real ticket to travelling light is to recognize that it is an ongoing endeavor. The minute you (I!) forget to be intentional about it is about the time that the “extras” will begin to sneak in to your (mine!) life and home.

More isn’t better. It’s just…more.

~Steady Mom

So I share this with you as I begin in earnest, to travel light{er}! I’d love to hear one or two ways in which you strive towards living light{er}.


  1. I stand in awe of your wisdom @ such a young age.
    You are a very fast learner.
    Some hints I have to declutter are from past experience.
    Do it when no one else is home.
    Have a garage sale but do not invite your daughter to it.
    When your children leave home remind them to take all that stuff they stored & found so important ……. with them.
    All sounds mean to some extent but it seems to help them find their own priorities.
    My mom always placed her value on spending time with her family. Our home was always clean but not always tidy. Very lived in, yet very simple. But oh how her & dad made family memories of doing things together & learning values that we tried to instill into our own 3 treasures.
    Building treasures with eternities values in view.
    God has blessed us as parents & grandparents with many. But they are not stuff, rather precious lives, we thank God for & are so proud of.

  2. I have been working on eliminating clutter and trying to eliminate things we are not using. One way I am doing this is selling items on some local swap and shop pages hosted on Facebook. The small amounts of cash that these sales bring in encourages me to find other items that need to go to new homes.

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