What to Do with Your "Stuff" When You Live Life Untethered

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

by Patricia Giniger Snyder

Since December 2016, my husband Adam and I have been living an untethered life. We're not retired, so our #1 requirement is high speed Internet. We usually stay in places for a month at a time.

The second question people ask us about how we live life untethered is, "What do you do with your stuff?" The third and related question is, "Do you travel in an RV?"

Let me answer Question #3 first. No, we don't live in an RV. In fact, when we're in the US we travel in our 2017 Toyota Prius!

We travel in our Prius!

This, of course, means we are minimalists, which brings us back to Question #2. What we did with our "stuff."

We liked to call it the 3-D's -- Discard. Donate. Downsize.

Discarding, donating & downsizing in my office

We owned homes for 30 years and spent decades accumulating stuff -- a lot of wonderful things for sure. But those closets! And our attic!! For decades our basement and later our attic was filled with boxes – everything from furniture, kids’ clothes, toys and school papers, to classic records. Serious discarding was required!

So for months we went through our things, deciding what to keep and what to let go of. I promise...it wasn't easy. But in the end, it was truly liberating.

We donated what we could to Habitat for Humanity, and our Toyota convertible to NPR. We also became adept at selling stuff (including our pool table) on Craigslist. Adam made dozens of trips to the recycling dump, and we also threw away tons of garbage.

What we donated to Habitat for Humanity and our car which went to NPR

The rest – seriously downsized – went into a 10 x 15 storage unit. We use Extra Space Storage, which offers an annual plan with a contract that can be extended at the same monthly rate if done before the year is over. We’ve extended twice, and expect to do it again next year. When we decide to free our stored stuff, we’ll get reimbursed by Extra Space Storage for the months not used.

Adam with our "stuff" at our storage unit!

But the truth is, we continue to collect way too much (especially books), and like Hansel & Gretel, leave a trail of things we don’t need with family and friends! But as they say, we're working on it.

And I suppose you want to know what Question #1 is. Well, it's "so where do you live?" I guess we could say where our stuff is in New York State. But our preferred response is "nowhere!"

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