lifestyle

Guest Post: My Story of Downsizing (Why I Did It)

Guest Post: My Story of Downsizing (Why I Did It)

Today I'm excited to announce we have another guest post from a member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course (registration now open for the next session!). I'll hand it over to Becky and she'll explain all about her relationship with stuff and her simplifying journey. I think we can all relate to Becky's story, I know I definitely can! Thanks Becky!


I hardly know where to start for this blog entry for Mariah. I guess at the beginning. I have always loved to shop, loved getting new “stuff”, whether it was for my house or for me or as a lovely gift for someone.  So I was already primed for action when I met my best friend, who is a true shopaholic. And I took my cue from her – expensive purses, expensive makeup and beauty products, expensive clothes. She buys everything under the sun, and I tried to keep up with her for awhile. And I was always swearing I would reform and STOP, because my house was filling up with “stuff” and my bank account was emptying and my credit card balances were rising at an alarming rate.

It never got totally out of control, I just ran through a ridiculous amount of money in a very short time, all for “stuff”.

It was like Christmas at my house every day when I came home from work – boxes from Amazon, QVC, Coldwater Creek, etc etc etc, all stacked neatly at my door, waiting for me to come home and open them. I was so busy buying clothes that I very seldom wore the same thing twice in six weeks. I didn’t know if my UPS guy loved me or hated me, but I sure was keeping him busy, rain, snow, or sunshine. I started buying Coach purses compulsively – I loved them and I wanted them and I wanted people to see that I had them.

Eat Local: How to Craft Your Local Food Plan

One of the best and tastiest change you can make in your life to live a little simpler is by supporting local food systems. The packaging and transport of homogeneously grown food is largely responsible for our current economic and ecological predicament. To counteract this enormously wasteful system, we can purchase food from local farmers and producers. Farmer’s markets are a good place to start. A CSA share is another option - where you pay up front for a season’s worth of vegetables and fruits that get delivered on a weekly basis. CSA programs usually require a few hours of time helping out on the farm, which means you get to know your farmer face to face. Personally, I like the idea of knowing where and more importantly who my food comes from; it creates a moral connection and farmers are more likely to take care of their customers if they know them personally. Communities are built by each individuals’ economic habits and decisions. Economy and community can be integrated as a harmonious system, instead of separate parts of one’s life. Community is fostered when individuals choose to purchase food locally, or choose to support a local restaurant instead of a chain.

After reading Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy, and reading about his “one year of eating local”, I came up with a personalized food plan that I felt I could practice in my own city, a plan which would support a local food system. I may not have all of the food resources that McKibben has in Vermont, but once I began to look, I found I could fulfill many of my food needs within a few miles! No more grocery stores for me! An added benefit is that when I buy things directly from the farmer or through my CSA, there is no packaging to dispose of (and the worms love the green scraps). Here is a guide to how you can create your own local food plan with your local resources.