Downsizing By Numbers

I was online watching a few YouTube videos about downsizing when I came across Margaret Manning  discussing her downsizing experience and how she what she took to her new home. One of the things that never occurred to me during our downsizing (both past and current) was taking a specific number of items instead of taking only the things that will fit. When I started thinking about it that way I didn’t feel quite as overwhelmed.

I am thinking about giving it a try by writing down what I would want to take for ourselves and for the household items. This way I can see if it might be something we would want to do or not. In order to do this, even as an experiment, I need some rules. I am rule crazy, if you hadn’t noticed by the “Texas State Park Adventure.”

1. If it comes in a tote and makes sense, it is considered one. (embroidery tote – one; sewing tote – one; Scott’s photography tote – one; Scott’s instruments – one each, guitar – 1, banjo – 1, tin whistles in tote – 1; ect….).

2. 50 items for the kitchen, 50 items for the house, 50 items for me, and 50 items for Scott.  This may change depending on if we need fewer house items, more kitchen items.  Who knows, this could give each of us more personal items.

3. There must be a thought of where these things will be stored and how they will be used.  Can they be used in only one way or more than one way?  Do we really need that item or is there a way to use something else?

Thinking about this already, I am beginning to question the number.  Are clothes included in the household number?  Personal number?  Does there need to be another number added?  There are so many possibilities with this.  I do not feel overwhelmed or stressed out about it in anyway at the moment.  That may change as I am playing with this thought, but right now I feel more confident and willing to let some things go.  My mind is already spinning trying to think of ways to bring everything I want to take.

One of the things I am thinking about is all of my art.  I have been collecting other people’s hand embroidery for some time.  I would miss those but there just isn’t going to be enough wall space for it all.  I also have artwork from my children when they were young and my grandchildren, but I do not want to let go of those things because they mean so much to me.  Then I realized I have an digital picture frame. This has helped me decide to pass on my art to others.  That frame and the data disks will be the first thing on my list.

Some of my embroidery and other's work.

Some of my embroidery and other’s work.

Going back to Margaret’s video, what would be the three items I would take with me if I were to run away with just those?  I would take my hand embroidery tote, my Chihuahuas, and Scott. Yes, they are alive, but I get puppy cuddles from the girls and Scott would take his guitar so I would have music!    Seriously, that is what I would take.  What would take and why?

Our Chihuahua girls, Cordie and Snickers.

Our Chihuahua girls, Cordie and Snickers.

For more information on Margret Manning and her website, click on YouTube or Sixty&Me.

Until later,

Turning Your Dream Into a Goal


When we started this journey, we were just dreaming.  Nothing special, just dreamed of getting into an RV and traveling the United States.  However, it began to be more than just a dream last January when we decided to move from the 2,000 square foot house into a small apartment.  That was when it started taking the form of more than just a dream, but it wasn’t really much more.

July was a rather busy month for me because I began painting needlepoint canvases and I began doing direct sales for a company called Jamberry.  Taking the last part of July to learn about this direct sales business, I attended the national conference and learned so many things that would help me with my new Jamberry business, needlepoint canvas marketing and this blog!  It was exciting and scary all at the same time.  I would like to share, over a few posts, some of the things I learned in hopes that you will be as inspired as I was.

I want to discuss goals, our goals specifically, in this post.  Before I do, I am going to share the definitions of dream and goal because it will help you understand my use of the words; I also want to give some information from the conference.  Dreams are defined as contemplating the possibility of doing something.  Goals are an object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.  It may, at first, look as if these two definitions are the same only worded a little differently.  I promise, but the time I am finished with this post, you will understand why I see them differently.


Walt Disney said a dream is a wish the heart makes.  This describes it so well because when you are dreaming or wishing for something, there is only the thought; there is not a plan of action or knowledge about how you will reach that end.  Dreams have a very important place in our lives and we will all dream millions of ideas because we are beings of “if only.”  Think about it, how many times have you thought of an item that would make your life easier but you never followed through?  I have done this so many times and then forgotten it as quickly as I thought of it.  That is a dream or contemplation.

Dreams are important, don’t think I am saying they are not.  Without dreams there would be no phones, TVs, doctors, lawyers, and the list goes on.  It is when the dream becomes important enough to start thinking of a plan of action.  This planning is where goals come into play. You can make all the plans and be at a total loss of how you should follow through with those plans.  This is why we are told to write down our dreams because those dreams can quickly become plans which will eventually require goals. Hopefully this has helped you understand what I mean when I talk about dreams and goals.

So, the conference had many amazing speakers and all of them told how they had a dream to do or be something they were not at one time.  They then spoke about the plans they made and how often they failed, but kept looking at that dream.  One of the speakers said it was when she had failed for the third time that she realized she had to make a plan and for each step of that plan she made goals.  She said there was a goal for everything, every little step and they were all written down.  When she reached a goal, she crossed it off.  Often she had to reevaluate and tried something new to achieve that goal, but she achieved because she made little goals.  The goals were in place so she would know what she needed to do next; no excuses.

Excited about the information I learned at the conference I told Scott about it.  We decided it was something we needed to implement if we were going to succeed in our journey to be living in an RV full time, traveling the country.  Deciding we wanted to be in an RV within 18 to 24 months, we made a plan.  That plan was to focus on getting our finances in place.  We moved in April to this tiny apartment with the intentions of saving every month, but it has not happened because we didn’t make solid plans or goals.  Because of the lack of budget our money was telling us what to do instead of us making it do for us.  So the first goal over August and September is to do a regular budget each paycheck and stick to it.  If we fail, we do it again and again and again until we succeed.  It has been rough so far, but we have done better than in the past; but we are still failing at the moment.

Another goal we have, which is also related to money, is to stop eating out so often.  Not only does this cost us way too much money, it is bad for our health.  I have a gluten intolerance issue and I am allergic to the nightshade fruits/vegetables, this causes a lot of frustration for me when we go out to eat at new places.  Sure we know of some restaurants that are dedicated gluten free such as From Across the Pond in North Richland Hills, Texas.  This does not mean they are nightshade free so the frustration of eating out is still there.  Therefore, we have been working hard to have our meals at home and Scott takes his lunches.  It isn’t thrilling, but we both have lost weight and I have not had as many allergy issues.

Goals are important if you want to achieve your dreams.  The more specific you are, the less you have to figure out what your next step is so take a moment and allow yourself to dream, plan and achieve your goals.


We dream of traveling so we will take it step by step every day. (No, we don’t have the trike, but it is on our list of dreams!)