Actually, Violet, Ken and I did! Not necessarily living completely self-sufficient (I'm really not any good at gardening and growing my own food, but I sure can cook it!) but certainly selling all and starting over somewhere else. Colorado is our place of choice. I really hope that this will be what God directs our steps to do very soon, as it will have to be God for us to do it or for it to work. I went to Colorado once for a company thing when my husband and I were just married a couple of years. It was in the dead of winter and I LOVED IT!!! I've been dreaming since then to move there, but so far the opportunity has not presented itself. If we do, however, I am thinking of a more "simple" life style. Life's really not worth living if all you do is try to keep up with the stuff you have to pay for! Anywho... Kinda' long answer, but you get the jest...
It's funny - I'm always looking at these websites that have these tiny little houses. The theory is, you have everything you need in them but without the clutter and mess that comes with a huge home. I'm not sure I could ever actually do it, but it would be inetersting.
Now my husband - I know for a fact he could live off the land. We have always talked about what it would be like to go live in the mountains or somewhere similar. He is an outdoorsmen through and through.
As far as practicing it now - I have been slowly trying to declutter my house. There is so much here that we never use! I've been going through and donating what is good to charity and tossing what is in bad shape.
In our early years together, my wife, kids and I had a 'retreat' near our outdoor prayer service venue in northern Wisconsin. This retreat was a one room log cabin with no power, kerosese lamps, a wood burning stove for heat and cooking and a 'restroom' 70 yards away...LOL. We did have battery power for a two way radio just to keep in touch with our closest neighbors 4 miles away. Not quite a pioneer experience but close to it.
It was rustic and we truly enjoyed it back in those days. Waking up on autumn days with only coals left in the stove and a 45 degree temperature INSIDE the cabin... watching bear and coyotes playing in the field nearby, watching the trees turn to their autuman colors and looking up into God's blue sky and thanking Him for what he gave us to enjoy.
Never sold everything, but I did give nearly everything I owned away about a year ago. Got new stuffs now, mostly craft and music stuff, so not the same kinda stuff I had before. But I don't have TV anymore (except for the occassional movie/video game, but no cable, or even an antenna) because giving it up for a few months, and then trying to watch it again made me realize how MUCH temptation I got just from random TV watching, and how I couldn't stop looking while it was on. Funny thing is, I have known people that got rid of their TVs and I just thought it was silly. Guess I have a new understanding for it now.
Actually I was thinking of getting someone here to clean up but these days you can't find anyone that would, like you said, declutter as well. You have to pick up and tidy up everything first then they'll come in and do the dusting, vacuuming, cleaning floors and baths, etc. I thought if I have to spend the time decluttering and picking up myself, what sense does it makes to pay them to do what I consider the easier part, right? So, I'll just get the thing done myself when I can.
I cannot afford it yet but this is actually my dream life! I already live as self sufficiently as possible (gardening, canning, etc) but just cannot afford to buy a piece of property yet. One day would love to and have home based small business selling natural / organic / heirloom plants & foods. I would love to raise my children this way