Monday, April 27, 2009

Downsizing – How To - Part 1 of 3

How am I downsizing my possessions and how can you do this too?

How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?
Do you really love the item or are you keeping it because it cost you a lot to buy it, a good friend gave it to you or you'll fit into it again someday when you lose weight? Unless you really love it and use it often, it can go. If you want to keep it because of a memory, then take a picture of it so you'll still 'have it' to remember it by.

How much space do you want to fill?
Although Jeff and I will be moving into a home with a footprint of 8'x20' we are currently renting a 700sf apartment and have rented as large a space as a 2200sf live/work loft. Needless to say we have things to sell off. Those things include furniture that we love and use daily (but won't have space for) as well as items from a storage space that I have had for 4 years and haven't looked into in about 6 months. All of it goes. Craigslist, Ebay, gifting to friends, charity donations. I've done yard sales but won't do them again.

The emotional aspect of downsizing:
The other day I felt very overwhelmed. Jeff was helping me empty my storage unit and I had forgotten how much was in there. As I wheeled the MIG welder to the moving van I smiled remembering the last item that I made with it but then thought, "This will need to be sold. I'm losing part of my identity!"

That's often how we think about many of the items that we buy. For example, we buy a shirt because maybe the 'look' says something about us to others or by wearing it we feel a certain way. We don't usually buy it because it simply covers what society says it should or have decided that it will keep us warm enough in cold weather.

I had to ask myself, "If my place were to burn down today, could I live without this?" I knew that I certainly didn't need it in daily living and so would not replace it. I can now sell it and feel more at peace with the choice.


  1. This is the exact same process I've been going through. I'm not moving into a tiny house (though I am jealous of those who are!), instead I'm moving abroad and know that I only have 200 cu ft in which to pack the part of my life that is coming with me. If it's been anything, it's been eye-opening!
    If there's one thing I've learned, it's not to let myself be defined by what I own or don't own. It used to be that if I didn't have 2 sets of skis, 3 kayaks, the newest MacBook, etc...I didn't feel complete. Now, I realize that what matters is who I am, how I interact with the world and the people around me, and the impact I leave when I go...
    Enjoy the ride -

  2. Slowing Down,

    Yes, sometimes we forget that things are just 'things' and that people and life experiences matter more.

    Good luck on your move! :-)

    Thanks for the comment,


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