How I Pared Down My Stuff to Live in an Airstream

My teensie closet.I’ve never been the kind of person to ho-hum and dwell over whether or not I’m going to need that second vegetable peeler or if I’m ever going to wear those stupid-high clogs  (newsflash: I won’t wear them!). I usually just get real with myself and sell my unused junk or donate it.

But when George and I moved into the Airstream, I knew I’d have to take parring down to an all new level. The closets in the Airstream are New York City apartment tiny. And let’s be real, my first priority is food storage. This girl loves to eat. So when it came to choosing which “things” were essential and which I got the ax, I had to make some pretty tough guidelines. Here’s the questions I asked myself:

1. Have I used it in the last three months? If I haven’t used it in the last three months, it’s probably not very useful. Unless…

2. Is it seasonal? Is it something I can put into storage until next season? Winter clothes and boots mostly fell into this category.

3. Am I really being honest about whether or not I’m going to [insert your own hobby here]? Book collecting is a tough one for me. (And I think everyone has that one “thing” that contributes to clutter.) I always get super ambitious about how much I can read. I’m only one person, I can only read so much. And there’s always the library. I made myself get real about my book collection.

4. Does this item have more than one use? I’m big into things that have multiple uses because they take up less space. For example, my blender also food processes. It’s magical.

5. Does it need fixing? There are so many things (clothes especially) that I was hanging onto because they just needed one little thing fixed. This shirt needed a hole sewed up, these pants needed to be hemmed up, etc. If I have had the problem for over a month and I still haven’t fixed it, I let it go. Be real, it’s never going to get fixed and it’s just taking up space.

So that’s the harsh criteria I went through when I pared down my life to live in the Airstream. It was hard emotionally, but I’m done. *Angels singing* Now, the hard part is going to be not bringing any more unnecessary junk back into the Airstream.

How have you pared down?


15 thoughts on “How I Pared Down My Stuff to Live in an Airstream

  1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

    Thanks, Lilian! Gah, yes, I’m always acquiring free or cheap books– you know how that goes. And they are so hard to say no to!

  2. The Laughing Nanny

    Hi Melanie. I, too, live in an Airstream. I pared down in the most unorganized fashion possible – bringing it with me. Clothes tend to be a little problem, along with shoes, as they are seasonable. Cooking utensils are top of the list as food is not only a priority but I love to cook. After six months, it’s easy to see what is being used and what is not; that makes it quite easy to donate or give to someone in need. It’s only myself and my dog but we have adjusted well and quickly and I can’t see myself living in anything that is much bigger than what I live in now. Thanks for sharing!

  3. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

    That may be a good way to see what is being used, but I had way to much stuff to even put in an Airstream. It would have frazzled my nerves to have so much stuff in such a tiny space! Thanks for reading!

  4. theinventionofliving

    awesome! we’ve both slowly been implementing a new rule in our homes: a place for everything and everything in its place…. it’s definitely baby steps…but you’ve got a great list of questions to ask ourselves!

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      sounds like a good plan to me! i wish we could have had more time to evaluate what we need and don’t need, but it’s been a blessing to have to do it quick. pull the bandaid off quick and it hurts less, ya know?

  5. atreefor2

    respeeeeect! high-five girl!

    I’ll come back to this when we are moving in the tiny tiny treehouse.. (some lightyears ahead from this point I’m afraid). but I think downsizing is also a relief!?
    you are my true downsizing-tiny-cute-place-living-queen!

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      thanks! i’m already looking into tiny houses for our next project. lol. i need to get a grip.

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  7. Ellen N.

    I am currently preparing to live in an airstream in 3 1/2 years when hubby retires. I am monitoring what I wear and what I don’t. If I wear it I turn the hanger around when I hang it back up. Every three months I review what I am not wearing and I donate. I am so glad I found your blog.

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