February 6, 2013

Downsizing by Design

Too often I hear about people who are being ‘forced’ to downsize and move to a smaller space. Suddenly they are expected to divest themselves of 50% or more of their possessions. This would be difficult and stressful for anyone, but it’s beyond overwhelming for someone who has lived in their home for 3, 4 or 5 decades.

I always encourage people to take the bull by the horns and start the decluttering / downsizing process now. The title ‘Downsizing by Design’ is meant to suggest that you can build a plan to declutter and downsize over time, and therefore ease the stress of doing it all at once. Over the next while we will publish ideas on small, specific projects you can undertake in your home to prepare for that ‘someday’ when you might actually want to move to a smaller space. In the meantime you will enjoy a lighter, airier feel immediately.

I’ll start by relating a recent experience. I was talking to a couple who are moving (downsizing) in the future and I explained that I had done some cleansing of my own the week before. I went into my sock
drawer and dug deep to find a pair that were in the back but were the perfect color for my mood that day. When I took them out I discovered, to my dismay, that the elastic in socks doesn’t last forever. Then I checked another pair in the back, and found that the same thing had happened to them. Into the trash they both went.

The next time I saw the same couple she came towards me with a huge smile on her face. “I cleaned out my sock drawer yesterday. It was great!!!”. Now it is easier for her to find her favorite socks, and when she does move she will have no problem.

A small task, no more than an hour. But it feels good and it can give you the momentum to do more.

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