Real Life Minimalists Update: Heather in Texas

Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.

I always love receiving an update from Heather in Texas! We heard from her in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016—and now she shares with us her recent experience with Hurricane Harvey. I think her perspective is very inspiring, and testament to how minimalism can help us through difficult times.

Heather writes:

After the hurricane

After the hurricane

Hurricane Harvey. Water damage and mold. One doesn’t even know where to start. Thankfully, handed a check but what do you buy first? What are your priorities?

I couldn’t pull from my own items to give but being a minimalist has given me the financial and physical freedom to help. I collected what I could, in the form of new clothing, shoes, pet food/items, towels, canned food, lanterns, bedding, hygiene products, gift cards, etc. I have VERY generous friends. We were able to load up 2 pickup trucks and a trailer worth of items and get them to Rockport and the surrounding areas.

Harvey stopped me in my tracks and made me think how blessed I truly am. We did lose part of our roof and because of the water seeping inside, we had internal damage and eventually, mold. I was never more grateful to be a minimalist because minus my furniture and a few this and that’s, we packed up our belongings and sought shelter elsewhere. This is no small feat, considering I have 3 larger dogs, 2 cats and 2 foster kittens at the time. Add that to having to meet the needs of my husband, son and myself, it was quite interesting.

I remember being in the hotel room, I started purging even more items. A tragic event like this puts things into sharp perspective. We have been able to move back into our house, some of our furniture had to be thrown out but I am enjoying the empty space and was grateful it was not worse. It took us all of an hour and half to move back in and unpack.

This event has been a catalyst for us. We want to live MORE. We are planning 2 trips already to seek adventure and are planning on selling our larger home for smaller pastures. I continue to purge here and there but mostly, enjoy what I have and even more, the laughter, love and happiness within the walls of this house. Never thought it would take a hurricane to learn so many lessons in life.

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or joining my email list.}

9 comments to Real Life Minimalists Update: Heather in Texas

  • Thankfully you are ok and it was only possessions that were lost. Your motivation to do even more to simply your life is inspiring.

  • So sorry you were a victim of Harvey, but I am inspired that you say the “laughter, love and happiness” within your family is intact. I have no doubt at all that minimalism helped your family through this emergency and will continue to help you recover.

  • Heather

    Thank you for posting Ms. Minimalist. Y’all should be tired of me by now but I like to share how minimalism has ebbed and flowed with my real life. As we speak, I am teaching a small group on minimalism and what it is. The class was only an hour but we spent 2 more hours talking about it and I have 2 others onboard with making some drastic changes. It’s been fun to share my story and maybe, just a little insight! :)

    • Deann

      I love this. I agree Minnimalism isn’t a black and white state, it’s an ever changing flexible philosophy of life. I like to hear what minnimalism is to different people and how that definition shifts and grows with you as your life changes.

  • cathy

    I remember asking myself what would I grab of I had to evacuate. I don’t have as much as some, but too much to grab quickly. Glad you are all OK.

  • Pascale

    I’m so sorry to hear this, but I love your attitude. I am concerned about the mold in your home. It can lead to many health issues. Were you able to have a professional remove it?

  • Harvey was an incredibly emotional experience for everyone, I think. We rode it out on a boat that was unfinished inside at the time. I remember being grateful that we had so little to lose. Seeing the piles of ruined possessions lining the roads–as well as the generosity of everyone who gave not only possessions but time and energy–was both heartbreaking and beautiful. Wishing you the best as you move forward! E-mail me if there is anything you need help with.

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