Anyone who has downsized her home knows that the experience it is an emotional roller coaster. The process of getting rid of our possessions goes something like this.
First we get rid of the junk that has accumulated in our homes. This includes those items that really don’t matter to us or may have never mattered to us.
Maybe you’re still living in the house where you raised the children: Bedrooms remain unused. Closets are full of things accumulated over decades. Memories are in every corner. The garage is stuffed with who knows what.
Simplifying, downsizing, decluttering… these topics seem to be very popular right now. Why is this such an issue for so many people?
Cleaning out an apartment or house is a stressful process, regardless of the reason. It’s not much fun sorting through possessions when you’re moving or renovating.
I had just finished a book reading at a local bookstore, and the first question came from a man who was sitting toward the back of the room. He shared that he had begun a “small downsizing,” and that the first question he got from a neighbor was, “Are you getting ready to die?”
Over the weekend, I was riding my bike to one of my favorite coffee shops, which is only about 10 miles away, so it’s usually an easy ride.
But on this day, the wind was blowing “like spit,” as my grandmother used to say. (Do you ever think about things people said as you were growing up that you never thought much about, and then at some point, you begin to wonder “what on earth did that mean?”)
How lightly do you travel? Since 2010, I’ve flown and holidayed with carry-on luggage only. That’s a handy seven kilograms of clothes, shoes and toiletries.
I’m just one small person in a big world, but I am concerned about my responsibility for the wellbeing of the world around me.
In the 1970s, we were minimalists and a bit ‘hippie-ish.’ We eschewed sugar for honey and whole wheat for white. We tried our hand at gardening organically. We limited our possessions. We lived in modest homes.
While sorting through my inbox, I came across one email with the subject line “Loving Life with Less.” Given my interest in downsizing, I was very excited to read it. Yes! I thought. That’s exactly the goal.
Have you got a stack of yogurt containers, microwave meal bowls or a shelf full of empty jars? Most of us keep food containers as we hate to throw them out. We figure that eventually we’ll find a use for them.