We recently downsized our home, and largely our life. It was a decision that came after several years of deliberation and discussion, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.
There was work involved in this choice, and it wasn’t without some difficult conversation along the way. It can be very hard to evaluate every item in your home, and make a decision on whether it stays or goes. Of course, that is harder for some than others. For us, it was overall challenging. We went from a home with a lot of land to one that was smaller, and has a much smaller yard. Suddenly, our mini Home Depot that was stored in our garage wasn’t really required any longer.
As I thought back on the process, I realized we learned a few things along this downsizing journey.
- We Need far Less Than We Think – Before we downsized, we had extra room for storage, and it was much easier to keep items “just in case.” Honestly, in hindsight, I am not entirely clear what that “just in case” event really was, but it seemed prudent at the time. Downsizing put all of our items in clear view. We literally had to touch every single item in our home when we moved. Every item was evaluated, and in the end, we realized what we really required was much less. And as we moved through the process, it became much easier to donate, and actually, it felt good.
- Only Keep Items You Absolutely Love – If you love it, you will wear or use it. I found that all those items I kept just because were never worn or used. They were stored away for some proverbial rainy day that never came, so letting them go to someone who could use them was liberating. What I did learn was that the things I truly love found a prominent place in our home, and they make me smile, or bring back some memory that is incredibly meaningful to me.
- Less is More – I think the most surprising lesson I learned from downsizing is that less is truly more. What we do have, we deeply appreciate. And most importantly, we have enough, and knowing we have enough brings gratitude. It feels incredibly good to let go.
We made a deliberate decision to downsize and simplify, but anyone can decide to reduce. Look around and take stock. Are cabinets overflowing? Are closets full? Is the linen closet bulging with towels and sheets that are way past their prime? Does the garage have paints, tools, and other items that are no longer of use? The list goes on. Make a plan, and start with one area of your home. Once you get rolling, you’ll ask why you didn’t start sooner!
Let it all go. See what stays.