Why would anyone want to do it?
1st obvious answer is financial. Many people move from a large family home to a smaller, more manageable property to free up the equity tied up in thier house.
Maybe the garden is too big and takes up too much of your valuable time and perhaps you would prefer to spend your hard earned cash on travel rather than fixing the roof or the garage door.
Maybe you just don’t like the thought of leaving the job of sorting through a lifetime of your stuff to your children after you have gone.
Or maybe you just think it’s about time you cleared out that attic, basement or garage to free up some space.
Whatever the reason, you will find that once you truly start the process, it becomes much more than just a clear out.
Everyone I know who has gone through the exercise tells me it has been emotional, therapeutic, sometimes painful but often cleansing and healing. Sometimes bringing closure to a lot of hidden “issues”.
I can’t tell you the satisfaction I felt when I eventually had everything pared down to the minimum. It was a release from the emotional baggage of the past I had unknowingly been carrying around with me.
Well it’s been over a year since I downsized my life, packed up my home and moved from a large 3 bed bungalow, with loft and garage, to a small two bed apartment with one storage cupboard. It has been quite a disrupted year as we first moved into rented apartment whist we waited for our new build to be ready. So two moves in a year then!
……..and how have I gone on since?…..have I accumulated more “stuff”?
I wrote about packing up 34 years of my life.HERE and asked the question “How do I get my life into a box”…..and the answer was RUTHLESSLY!
Deciding that I wanted a completely fresh start, I sold most of my furniture on EBAY Keeping only our very large bed and the two single convertible guest beds .
I sold most of my excess, non functional stuff at a car boot sale, anything that did not serve a functional purpose and I had not used in the previous year.. Keeping only ONE box of sentimental memories. ( which I still have not opened)
The rest I packed up and put into storage whist we rented. When we eventually moved into the new apartment while I was unpacking I asked myself did I really need this item, can I live without it? and if the answer was “no” it went to the charity shop or in the bin.
So, you may ask, since then have I fallen into my old ways? have I accumulated more “stuff”
I can honestly say I have (SMUGLY!) become a born again minimalist! a tidy person!
..and all because I read the secret to living in a smaller space was to keep the mindset,
Put it away NOW!
I have become the sort of person who has a place for everything and everything in it’s place…… Which is so much easier when there is room for things because your home is not cluttered with all the “stuff” you don’t need.
Happiness is finding an empty cupboard!
So what are the hard learned “rules” for downsizing.
- 1. As you start to go through your cupboards, drawers, loft , garage ask yourself .
- What function does this serve?
- Do I need this?
- Do I use this?
- Have I used this in the last year/two years/five years? (whatever time you put on it)
- I used to have cupboards and suitcases filled with clothes I never wore. . Clothes that were too small or too big “just in case” I gained or lost weight. Well when I DID gain or loose weight I bought new ones. So once I realised that, it became easy to take anything I had not worn for a year to the charity shop or dress agency. If you keep separate for a month (each season) the clothes you wear, you will realise that you wear very few of your clothes, just a few favourite items. . Pack away the excess and in a year give or sell them. I keep all my clothes in my wardrobe, no need to pack away the winter/summer stuff as there is room for them all on three rails.
- and now the golden rule is, ONE IN ONE OUT…. If I buy a new item of clothing I choose something and it goes in the charity box under the bed.
NOW THAT SENTIMENTAL STUFF!
This was the difficult part. With each item I asked my self.
What does this remind me of?
Why am I keeping this?
Why do I not want to get rid of it?
Do I ever look at it or use it?
Will I miss it if I get rid of it?
When I packed up my home, I allowed myself ONE box of “sentimental stuff” which was stored in my daughters garage. A year later I retrieved the box because I felt guilty taking up space in somebody else’s garage. I couldn’t remember what “precious” things I just could not bear to part with so it was a nice trip down memory lane to open the box.
Some of the things I put away at the top of the wardrobe, where I am sure they will stay untouched till after I’m gone, but really if I lost them tomorrow I would shed no tears.
…..and of course the other thing is ..BOOKS!
I got a kindle! Lol!