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Freedom to Choose a Different Life Beyond Owning Stuff

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Kim has been an estate liquidator for six years and resells some very interesting things.

Take your mobile home on the open road!

Take your mobile home on the open road!

Have you ever fantasized about selling everything you own so you don't have to spend all your time taking care of the stuff you've acquired over the last 30 years? You can let go of it and claim a new life of freedom.

There are so many choices these days to find your freedom that you'll need to start a list. Try these on for size.

1. Choosing to RV Around the Country

Here are some reasons why people have chosen an RV over the big house full of things and decided to sell most of their stuff.

  • "We were watching time pass us by and we weren't interested in rocking on the front porch."
  • "We were overwhelmed with all our stuff."
  • "We wanted to see the world."
  • "We wanted experience, not belongings."

Making the decision to sell certain things can be really hard emotionally. But, once done the benefits are great. People have traded stuff for moments like standing in complete awe at the Grand Canyon, watching grandkids fill out their Junior Ranger journals, or being able to have the freedom to pick up and move to any city that they want.

Before you jump behind the wheel, find out how other peoples' experiences have been before jumping behind the wheel. Try reading A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before RVing Across America (paperback) by Alyssa Padgett.

Rescues on a raft in Houston, TX.

Rescues on a raft in Houston, TX.

Choosing to Go on a Natural Disaster Mission

Bob and Susan Harrison decided to sell their house and most of their personal content in order to serve others. Their first mission trip took them to Houston, Texas, where the hurricanes of 2017 ravaged the city. Hurricane Harvey of 2017 was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the US since Wilma in 2005, and is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, causing $125 billion in damage. Houston's metropolitan area received more than 40 inches of rain over eastern Texas, causing major damage that was unprecedented.

One resident said, "Hurricane Harvey came,” she recounts. “And then Hurricane Harvey left—with my security, with my joy, with my stability.” Bob and Susan Harrison decided to join the Red Cross to volunteer their time to the long-term effort needed in Texas.

Now that the emergency phase of the response has been completed, the Red Cross is bringing programs to help people recover and address the ongoing community needs. The Red Cross is working with different organizations including local and state governments, non-profit partners and faith-based organizations. Long-Term Recovery committees to help people affected by the storm have committed $182 million in donations to long-term recovery.

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Choosing to Go on a Foreign Mission

Foreign Missions offer experiences like none other. Those who go to South America often located in the Republic of Ecuador, a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered by Columbia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador includes the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific.

Ecuador is a middle-income country, with a developing economy highly dependent on petroleum and agricultural products. The poverty rate has declined significantly between 1999 and 2010 due to emigration and the adoption of the U.S. dollar as the official currency. But, starting in 2008 with the bad economic performance of the nations where most Ecuadorian emigrants work, the reduction of poverty has been realized through social spending mainly in education and health. There is much room to grow through foreign missions.

Bob and Susan Harrison are researching Ecuador Missions and are considering founding a 501c3 nonprofit Christian organization to help deliver the Ecuadorian people from physical and spiritual poverty. There are three core goals of this mission: Jesus Christ's teachings, fighting hunger, and education. This Ecuadorian Christian Mission was founded and is led by Susan Templet ten years ago and operates through donations.

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Getting Ready to Start the Trip

Now that you are excited about getting rid of the stuff and launching your new life here's how to get ready!

1. Make a list of places you want to live. Some choose a small condo of 1,000-1,500 square feet. Others choose an adult child's basement or garage apartment or choose to rent an apartment. Some choose just to store limited belongings and then make a decision about a permanent place at a later time. The important part is to estimate the space you'll have.

2. Sort belongings. Only choose furniture that will fit the new space. Don't try to make things fit. Keep only what works in the new space. If the larger furniture is a part of your heritage give it away to children or family now.

3. Take important papers like birth certificates, car titles, deeds to property, cash or precious letters to the bank and put in a safety deposit box.

4. Now that everything you are keeping has a place, what do you do with the rest? The easiest thing is to donate everything and take a tax write off. But, if you need cash, have a tag sale. Ordinarily, the furniture from a 3,000-square-foot house, plus its decor and yard tools, plus a car, can raise $10,000-$15,000.

Either conduct a tag sale yourself or hire an estate sale liquidator and split the proceeds. When a liquidator is hired, the company will do everything from disposing of trash to organizing contents from attic to basement, to pricing everything appropriately to garner the most money from the contents. They may find some items that are more valuable than you thought. Plus, the liquidator does all the advertising, promotion, and signage for the two- or three-day sale. Afterward, the leftovers are sold at bulk or donated. A team of workers can put the sale together in one to two weeks. If you do the sale yourself, you'll need to allow four to six weeks to organize it.

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?

The chicken spent days and nights searching its soul and the chicken finally decided that it had to cross the road and did so. If you are pondering the road less taken, I hope you cross the road with the chicken.

Once you do it, you will be the envy of your friends and family. There will be no hold on your time and your energies can be directed toward the new mission in your life.