After years of joyous shopping and mindless accumulation, I gradually came to realize I had too much Stuff. Moving was a nightmare and space an un-winnable challenge. I organized and re-organized without realizing the problem was not organizational. Spaces became larger (and more expensive) just to accommodate the amount of stuff I was accumulating. I looked back longingly to the days when everything fit into a single backpack. I no longer owned my things, my things owned me. I had reached critical mass.
Recognition of the problem and the decision to downsize were the first steps in a very long journey. Here is what I’m learning along the way:
Tastes change and evolve. Minimizing becomes addictive just because it feels and looks so good. It’s no longer about quantity; it’s about authenticity, simplicity and quality of living. Minimalism and wabi-sabi become the new mantra.
Downsizing for staging is different than downsizing because you have too much stuff. Downsizing for staging is a transitory state for the purpose of emphasizing the house; possessions go into storage and come back out when needed. Downsizing because you have too much stuff is permanently letting go, of freeing yourself of the burden of too many useless possessions.
As good as it feels, downsizing is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done…am doing…will ever do.
Downsizing is an on-going process kind of like a boxing match. Some rounds I win…some rounds I draw…some rounds I get KO’d.
Downsizing happens in layers and downsizing never seems to end; sort of like the Hydra, when you cut-off one head, two more spring into place.
Downsizing is a bit like a fungus; it starts in a problem area: a bookcase, a collection, a drawer, and spreads rapidly to all areas, of not just the home, but the office, the car, the yard…your life…
Downsizing can be a spiritual journey, a letting go of what you don’t need and a better appreciation of what is important and authentic. Downsizing is liberating; a lightening of the load as you let go of unneeded and heavy baggage.
Downsizing is another way to prioritize, focus, define, and refine who you are, what you love, and what’s most important to you.
After letting go of things that are not needed and not used, it’s difficult to even remember what was let go of.
The house is now easier to clean, stays clean longer, and looks clean even when it isn’t.
Downsizing ultimately becomes a state of mind.