15 Boxes ready for packing

Downsizing Challenge – Bumps in the road but luckily no car

So we are still in the process of simplifying our lives. As you can tell by the blog, this has been put off for a while due to various family issues & our need to drive to/from Scotland every few weeks. We are slowly getting back on track but the downsizing is going to have to take a different shape.

As an update, we have now spoken to our landlord & are waiting on them finding a suitable tenant for the property. We are going to end the lease on this property & stay with family until everything calms down allowing us to move on. The plan for the future is still the same but due to the family problems we are going to be putting all of our things into storage for a while. Our storage is already sorted and we have committed to a 150sq/ft room. That’s pretty small when you consider we are in a 4 bedroom house with garage.

We chose this room as part of this challenge. If we can fit everything into this room (which is essentially the size of a large transit van) we will have simplified our lives to a great extent. There is something quite liberating about knowing you can pack all of your things into a single van and do a single trip to somewhere new. Perhaps a little nomadic but that’s how I want to live for a while.

So the downsizing has really begun now. We limited ourselves to 15 boxes to pack our things into. Most of our furniture is for sale, old clothes have been donated to charity or sold on eBay.

15 Boxes ready for packing
15 Boxes ready for packing

We have already sold a lot of stuff including the big one, the car! This was such a hard thing for me to do. I’ve owned cars since I was 18 & all of the time I’ve been able to drive I’ve had my own car. This is the first time in 6 years I don’t have one & it’s scary. However I’ve also found it very liberating. In the three days since it went I’ve probably walked about 28 miles. My wife & I walk to the printers, post office, grocery shops & coffee shop daily. It gives us time to reflect, time to chit chat & time to reconnect. We got absolutely soaked yesterday in a massive storm but we felt such a sense of achievement at the end of the day (and slept like babies).

House with no car
House with no car

Being without a car in a city is fine, it’s the norm, but as we still live in a suburban area we are the exception. We see a few kids & people out for a walk but most people are in their cars. It’s quite eerie. I had no issues walking everywhere when I lived in Manchester & Dundee but it does feel weird walking around the suburbs. I keep telling myself that all the wheels are in motion & soon we will be back out in the world on our next adventure.

So without a car a few problems arise but we have overcome them so far. We live 1.3 miles from the train station. We can walk it in about 25 minutes and we can go onwards to anywhere in the UK. We also live within 15 miles of a major airport & can catch a bus straight to it (or a taxi). Grocery shopping can be done locally & we can order online for a weekly grocery delivery. I know if it was a long-term thing we would get bored with walking with so few things available to us, but we have a plan & goals so I’m not too worried.

So we are now car free & a big chunk of debt has vanished. Also a lot of risk has gone. No chance of unforeseen repair bills, no insurance renewal, no tax, no insurance, no fuel or maintenance, no servicing costs, no parking fees, no breakdown cover. It’s crazy how much we will save & have saved already (tax, service & insurance renewals where all due which has saved us £1000 this month alone). Also by paying off a credit card we are £140 in minimum payment better off each month and £120 in interest per month is saved. Crazy money.

I’ll keep the blog updated day by day. I’ll try to highlight the negatives as well as the positives of this change in lifestyle. I’ll document the selling of items & boxing up of our belongings & ultimately being debt free & ready for some big adventures.

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

3 thoughts to “Downsizing Challenge – Bumps in the road but luckily no car”

  1. Glad you are back on with the challenge mate – I have enjoyed reading about the challenge! We are about to move house tomorrow so looking to do a bit of ‘stuff cleanse’!

  2. Just seen this! Basically we are moving about 2 mins away, but it’s a bigger place and we are buying it rather than renting. It was too much of a bargain to walk away from!

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