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Monday, July 27 2015
LESSONS IN LIVING A MINIMALISTIC LIFE

It's Monday afternoon and I just returned from a four day trip on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Bucks County, PA to Canaan Valley, West Virginia last night.  The weather was amazing and the sites spectacular.  

I am relatively new to the life of a "Biker Babe" and, although the rides and trips are amazing, I am having to adjust my way of thinking.  I am learning some lessons in living a minimalistic life - I have no choice.  

I have a small SUV which I purchased several years ago to enable me to transport almost anything and everything - for my clients and for myself.  When I head out on vacation, I am able to fill the SUV with whatever I need and want.  Not so on a Harley!

In order for me to plan for a four day excursion with my boyfriend, I had to pack whatever I needed or wanted in one-half of a suitcase that could be strapped to the back of the bike.  Not an easy task.

I openly admit that I like my creature comforts and, because I have the brain of an organizer, I am detail oriented and like to be prepared for anything and everything.  You do not have that option when packing for a trip with only the use of 1/2 of a suitcase.  

I am aware that some people do not find this a challenge, but I do.  Mike was great and very patient with me when I was packing and talked me through the process.  For four days, I could pack one pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a bathing suit and coverup, two night shirts, under garments, six shirts, a denim jacket, one fleese and rain gear along with my toiletries.  Layering is a must on a Harley. Although it was in the 80's everyday, [perfect riding weather], the mornings were chilly and required four layers of clothing.  

These are the lessons I learned:

One pair of jeans for daytime and one pair for night time;

The shirt you wear in the evening is the shirt you wear the next day;

Only one pair of sneaks and one pair of sandals get packed. [This was particularly difficult for me!]

Layering is critical no matter what time of year.  

Toiletries need to be downsized considerably and travel size products are your best friend.  

Although Mike teased me throughout the trip about us having the largest suitcase in the group, we managed to pack what I needed and still leave room for his stuff and, most importantly, get the suitcase zippered shut!  

This biker babe is still learning the tricks to living a minimalistic life when it comes to traveling on the bike.  I have found that it is giving me a different perspective as to what is really important.  Only pack what you need, not what you want.  It is possible!

I believe the same holds true in our homes.  I am not saying get rid of everything you own; but, try to look at your possessions and think about whether you actually need them.  This is a good way to reduce the clutter in your home and in your life!

I promise that the next trip I take on the motorcycle will involve even less!  

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 01 2015

What should you do with all the extra stuff in your house that you don’t have room for? A lot of people deal with this by renting a storage unit and just dumping everything there. 

Did you know that the self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 40 years? I find that incredible!

Depending on the size of the unit, you can spend anywhere from $100 to $250 per unit per month.  I have known several people who rent more than one unit.  Multiply that by 12 months and you are spending at least $1200 a year to store your "stuff".

Personally, in most instances, I find the decision to rent a storage unit is just a form of procrastination, not a solution.  It is, generally, a way to put off dealing with the inevitable; going through the items and making decisions about keeping, tossing, donating or selling.  

A woman contacted me last month to talk about utilizing my services to help her declutter and organize her apartment.  She was going away on vacation so we scheduled a consultation and first session for this week. When I confirmed the appointment the day before, as I always do, she told me she decided not to follow through.  When I asked why, she told me she decided to just put her stuff in a storage unit.  

But is this really the best solution? 

When you have to rent a separate space outside your home to store all the stuff that you can’t fit inside, this is a "red flag" that you just might have "too much stuff"!  

It’s one thing if the need is temporary (for example, when your house is being renovated, or you are staging your home and moving to another home), or if you truly have no room in your home for seasonal items, but some people rent storage units for years and years in order to hang on to things that are worth less than what’s being spent to store them. Does that make sense?

Wouldn't it be better to sell them, donate them, or just throw them out!

Think about it!  On the off-chance that someday you discover you actually need one of the items you previously discarded, it’ll probably be less expensive to buy a new one than to keep the old one (and all your other junk) in storage for years and years.  

Also, if you have something in storage that really is valuable to you (sentimentally or otherwise), why not honor it in a special place in your home, where it can be appreciated? How can you enjoy that item if it is stored in an outside unit and never seen? If you determine that you don’t have room for it, chances are there’s something else in your home that you could get rid of and never miss.

Always remember - Use the things that you use and enjoy today.  Don't save them for “someday”.  I call that "someday syndrome".   That's when you think you’ll need something that you don’t want or need now.  That can be an expensive decision.

So, to store or not to store - that is the question.  What is your answer?

If you are contemplating renting a storage unit or already have one that you would like to get rid of, contact me.  I can help save you money and honor the items you treasure today!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
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