Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Monday, June 27, 2011

Downsizing to One Car

We moved into our apartment 1 ½ years ago. Our living space is now attached to my husband's psychology office and my art gallery. My husband no longer has to drive to work, and I only do if I am working at the hospital. He likes to joke that now a traffic jam means tripping over the cat. We have been talking for two years about the possibility of getting rid of one of our cars. We are finally doing it- this week. This will be big step for us. We have each had our own cars for decades. Over the past year and a half, we have gone months where we never needed to go two separate places at the same time. The past two weeks it has happened twice, but both times we were able to figure out how we could have done it with one car. We have continued being a two person, two car family because of lack of incentive to do otherwise.
We got a phone call from our oldest son last week: the 1996 Honda Accord that had been my husband's previous car, was quite ill. It turns out that it would cost about twice as much as the Blue Book value of the car in order to fix it. Here is our incentive. He and his girlfriend are coming to town the end of this week for a friend's wedding. They will drive back to Boston in my 2000 Honda Odyssey.
At first Ben was not thrilled about driving an 'uncool' minivan. Then my husband pointed out how many bikes he can carry, inside and on bike racks on the back and roof, and he changed his mind. He is frequently going to cycling races.  Bike-carrying capacity is important. 
So this week, I need to clean out my car and say goodbye to my own ride. I have driven my husband's car before, but now it will become my car, as well as his. I like to listen to books on CD's, he listens to the radio. I like the seat closer, and the temperature warmer. I will need to find new places to stash my hospital ID and my Pilates bag. In a few months it will seem natural that we share a car, but not yet.
Getting rid of one car will decrease our expenses and open up space in our garage. I will have room to spread out my woodworking equipment so I can actually use it without having to rearrange the garage each time. My husband will have an easier time getting out the lawn mower.  He will no longer get annoyed with me when I don't check the tire pressures. (Crawling around on cold cement is not my body's favorite pastime.)
So what is my lesson here?  Simplify your life. Get rid of extra stuff. You will have less stuff to clean and take care of, and easier access to the stuff you need.  If you don't want it, someone else might.  This is a good thing. At least it will be once I get used to it.


  1. Smallify is my mantra; success is elusive. But we keep plugging away at it.

  2. My husband and I lived in a motor home for 2 1/2 years. It was then that I realized that we don't need as much stuff as we have. We use a lot more water than we need and take up a lot more space than we have to.
    As the saying goes "If your not living life on the edge, then you're taking up too much space".

  3. My Mother always said that if you haven't used it or worn it in a year then you don't need it so pass it along to someone who might.

  4. The more we own, the more we are weighted down by responsibility of caring for our possessions. I like the word 'smallify'. I just told my computer to add it to my dictionary. It is easier said than done, however. Our possessions frequently have meaning to us far beyond their usefulness. I once read an idea that you can take a picture of the item, then get rid of it. The picture will give you the 'reminiscence cue', but takes up much less space.