Diane Nilan
1 min readSep 7, 2023

20 years ago I divested myself of most of my belongings to move into a small RV to pursue a crazy idea of chronicling family/youth homelessness (www.hearus.us). I had never been inside an RV, but I knew I couldn't have stuff other than bare essentials. After 19 years full-time on the road, I bought an Airstream (28' Flying Cloud) to serve as my home. I'm still traveling in my Sprinter for work.

I had packed my "essential" memorabilia into 8 plastic bins and stored in a friend's basement. I had to deal with that a few months ago, clearing out the basement. Amazing how little I wanted to keep. A few books...because I could. Photos that I fantasize digitizing. A handful of thingies that meant something to me (plastic Woodstock, Snoopy coffee mug).

I don't want to be bound by stuff. No one will want what I have. I'm sorry for landfill space I've occupied. Disconnecting from possessions is tough, but with the proper impetus it is do-able, as you're finding (hubby not so much).

Those of us who've taken the "vow" of less stuff have a hard time understanding the stuff-a-holics and hoarders. I'm humbled (and thwarted) by my digital accumulation, teaching me that getting rid of stuff is relative. I want a genie to organize my electronic clutter!

--

--

Diane Nilan

Founder/pres. HEAR US Inc., gives voice & visibility to homeless families & youth, ran shelters, advocate, filmmaker, author, 18 yrs. on US backroads. hearus.us