Home Lifestyle Tips and Benefits of Downsizing

Tips and Benefits of Downsizing

by Bethany

If you all read our Big Plans for 2019, we are doing some serious downsizing this year. Not only do we aspire to live a life less cluttered, but we also need to prepare to live in an RV eventually. This mentality, combined with reading The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker had us going through our belongings and saying goodbye to clutter. 

Tips for Downsizing

One Space At a Time

Going through belongings is hard work and needs to be done room by room. Otherwise you risk overwhelming yourself. Start in the easier rooms like the bathroom or living space. This will help to build your confidence as you downsize. 

Know What to Ask Yourself 

As we got rid of belongings, we noticed many items carried emotional ties or frugal ties. 

Emotional ties are sentimental items like a photo album or something that was gifted to you. If this is the case, ask yourself “Do I need this, or could I just keep the memories? Could I just take a photo of it? Did I know this was here before today?” 

Frugal ties to items started with all of the “What if’s,” especially the “What if we need this someday?”. Instead of asking this question, since the answer will most certainly be yes, I asked in a more specific time frame. “Will we need this in the next year?”, if the answer was no it was time for it to go. 

Sell Your Items

Sometimes, we hold onto items because they have value to them. It literally feels like throwing money away if we were to donate it or trash it. Thus, we made a giant pile in the garage for a summer garage sale, a separate pile of electronics in the office to sell on eBay (all sold now)!, and lastly, furniture pieces to be sold on Offer Up were staged in the our pet room (also all sold)!. 

Selling some of the furniture pieces was one of the most rewarding steps as it cleared up space that we had otherwise thought ‘needed’ to be occupied. 

Look for the Duplicate and Decide if You Need Them

I had a set of dishes for us and a set of dishes for guests. The dishes were not china or somehow an antique, but separate because that was what Home Goods told me was proper. I decided this was a waste and instead I could donate some of our dishes to the Family Resource Center where I work and keep only one set at home. Removing duplicates was something that continued throughout the house as we downsized. 

Look at What is on Your Walls

One of our major clutter spaces was the walls. I filled many of them with images and things. Some were meaningful and others were not. I decided to take Becker’s advice here and ask “Does this tell our story?”.  Many of the things we had up did not tell more about us, or capture a memory and so they came down. What is on the walls will now only represent us instead of a trendy picture of a plant? 

Donate, but with care

Donating all of our unwanted items in bins to Goodwill was an option for us. However, I wanted to be a bit more selective about the donation process in order to avoid having items end up in a landfill. We looked into organizations around us that took donations and what their needs were. If our items fit, this is where we took them. The Family Resource Center was a main hub for us as they were in need of many household items and clothing items at the time. 

This did require more time and effort, but it was worth it to know we donated with some awareness and back to the community. 

Our Home Tour

The Benefits to Downsizing: 

1. Freedom.

Actual weight lifted off our shoulders when we cleared out the office I.e. Storage room and make it into a functional space. 

2. Accomplishment.

Clearing our every room in a methodical way boosted our confidence and gave us a feel of accomplishment. Especially since we discussed the purpose of each room and how to make it work for our family. 

3. Actually Using the Things we Love

Have you ever bought something really nice, but then it sits around collecting dust because it was too nice to use? When we got rid of everything we did not need or want, it made us use the nice items we had invested in. We actually get to enjoy them now. 

4. A Created and Curated Space.

The items that exist in each space are now considered rather than a storage place. We tried to make sure everything had a specific place, which helps with clean up. 

5. Less Cleaning, More Time.

My favorite of all the benefits,  less stress and less upkeep. I love to clean, but when you no longer have to clean things or around things it feels even more enjoyable. We spend less time moving items around, because everything has its place and we spend more time doing what we love. 

We will be re-evaluating our home again and again in the coming year or two and downsize even more. 

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