Tag Archives: downsizing

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It has been a quick summer, and I can hardly believe that September is nearly over. We spent a good deal of time visiting family and friends, playing in the garden, and de-junking over the past few months. As usual, I’m still aspiring to be a minimalist, despite my hoarding tendencies. I guess I’ve had my head stuck in the sand because I had no idea I had left the blog for so long. I hope you (Mom and my three other readers) had a good summer.

In yurt news: we bought new canvas from Yurta and will be replacing the outer layer of the yurt any day now.

We had opted for 100% cotton canvas treated with silicone when we first built the yurt, and are sad to say that it did not last. We have a few holes, some mildew (mostly from the hay that we stacked around the yurt over the winter), and the roof is no longer waterproof (it hasn’t been for quite some time).

This time around, we are going with acrylic coated polyester for the roof, and new cotton canvas for the walls. We tried our best to stick with natural materials, but found that the cotton couldn’t handle the UV rays or the elements for too long (to be fair, it has taken quite a beating over the past two years). We have heard good things about the polyester from the folks at Yurta, who are much more skilled and experienced than us when it comes to yurts, so we are confident it will serve us well.

We are hopeful that the new stuff will last a while since we have become attached to the yurt and don’t want to leave it anytime soon.

In farm news: we are in the midst of harvesting our veggies; despite it being a disappointing year (compared to last year), we are enjoying lots of good food fresh from the dirt. We have been eating and freezing a lot of soup.

The ducks, all grown up.

The ducks, all grown up.

In other news: I spent a solid three hours (maybe more?) going through the things we have stored in our shed. While my mother-in-law entertained the wee one, I was able to find such gems as: a decade-old postcard that was never sent, my Mom’s Storm Trooper ski boots from the 80’s, and The Little Mermaid CD that I swore I would never show to my kids. I have another couple of days ahead of me, but I feel optimistic. Although we still have way too much stuff, we are less attached to it and are having a good time giving it away. Maybe by this time next year, we will have gone through everything we own and will have scaled down to a satisfactory amount of crap.

Have a good weekend! 🙂


More Downsizing


Our yurt has roughly 450 square feet of space; we have enough stuff to fill roughly 2000 square feet of space. So, nearly every Monday I pull everything into the living room and sort through the things we use, the things we don’t, and the things that someone else could use. Ever so slowly, we are getting rid of our stuff in an attempt to live more minimally. Alongside all the sorting, I tend to get motivated about changing the furniture around. The result of sorting + furniture changes = a massive mess. Although the house looks like the aftermath of a natural disaster for a few hours, by supper it is usually back to normal. In adherence to Murphy’s Law, people always seem to pop by on Monday afternoons when the yurt looks like the pictures below; unfortunately, we rarely have guests visit early on Tuesday mornings.

The “Before” Pictures:

moving the wall unit

replacing the wall unit with a bookcase

A typical Monday: spring organizing

The After Pictures:


breakfast on mother’s day

the living room




I’m going to be living in a tent without closets or corners…I need to get rid of some stuff.

I recently read about a man who decided to live with only 100 items. He went through all of his possessions, deemed which were the most useful, and got rid of the rest. I find this idea equally refreshing and terrifying. Although I strongly dislike the consumer-driven society that I live and participate in, I find it difficult to stop consuming. I have a strong desire, however, to live very minimally and clutter-free next year in the yurt. In order to fit ourselves and our belongings comfortably into a 24′ yurt, we have to downsize considerably.

The difficulty is that we do not want to get rid of something only to purchase it again in a year or two. It seems counterproductive to fight consumerism with consumerism, so we are struggling to somehow live minimally without developing the “throw it out now, buy it again later” attitude.

We won’t have electricity in the yurt and will need to entertain ourselves; books, music, art, and tools will be important. Clothing will also be quite important, as our little abode will probably be a bit chilly. Unfortunately, it is glaringly obvious that I own too many books, too many art supplies, and too much clothing. I have, therefore, resolved to donate books that I am embarrassed to have on my shelf, art supplies that haven’t been used in a year, and clothing that makes me feel podgy.

In an effort to keep myself accountable, I will continue to keep you posted about my newfound flirtation with minimalism. To get started, here is my list of belongings that [I think] belong in the yurt:

  •  books
  •  furniture and bedding
  •  art supplies
  •  musical instruments
  •  tools
  • paintings and photographs
  • cookware
  • a smart* amount of clothing

*open to interpretation