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.}

7 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?

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