Before I became a ‘minimalist’, or rather, a nomadic minimalist, I already had a growing tendency towards the lifestyle.
I lived out of a 200 square foot mobile home for 6 months, and I rather enjoyed it.
This was in that between period of giving up my apartment for the first time (before I knew it was the move towards minimalism), and not being on a project to be able to live in a hotel.
Sure, I had to go outside of the mobile home to take a shower or use the washroom in the communal area (otherwise you have to try and hook up the sewage from the mobile home to go out, and not accumulate), and I couldn’t cook anything that required more than a single burner and a microwave, but it was still a great experience.
I learned that all the space I really needed was a bed to sleep, and a desk to read, write and work on.
For basic things like washing my face or brushing my teeth, I’d head out to the communal area.
The rest? It was just what could fit in the space.
As I couldn’t cook much, I only had a pan, a pot, 2 sets of cutlery, plates and bowls, and that was about it.
Food had to be purchased fresh each day, and I had a small bar fridge to hold the meat, some milk, butter and cheese. I didn’t need much space because I tended to buy fresh, raw food anyway.
My clothes took up most of the space in the trailer, but by the end of the year, I was ready to cut that in half and get rid of 90% of it.
I didn’t have books, as I went to the library on a regular basis, and I only had one set of linens, so I would do the laundry that day, and have fresh sheets at night.
Not much cleaning to be done, it was 200 square feet for goodness sake, and I never felt claustrophobic — more cosy than anything.
Mail would come in to the main mailbox for the area, and I’d just pick up my mail. Of course, I tried my best to stop all physical mail by refusing to give my address out to anyone, and it was the first time that I felt free.
In winter, it was the worst part of it all. I had to go out in freezing cold snow and weather to get to the bathroom and back, and I had an increased sympathy for folks who lived with outhouses in the past.
That said, I could have just asked them to hook up the sewage, but I wasn’t quite sure how long I’d be there, until 6 months had passed.
Chalk that up to laziness.
The main takeaway from the whole thing was I felt like I could go anywhere, and be able to live simply, but most of all — FREELY.
It was the first time I felt like that in my life, and it was addictive.
It was quite liberating, and that experience stuck with me all throughout and up until the point I decided that freedom and liberty would be my way of life, which is what led to permanent and final minimalism.