In a previous post I suggested that each of us who wants to downsize ask ourselves, "If my place were to burn down today, could I live without this item?" I thought that if I didn't need it in daily living that it could easily be purged. I have also explained that in our choice to voluntary simplify that we don't want to feel as if we are punishing ourselves. We want some comfort, not simply the bare necessities, so downsizing turned out to be easier said than done.
Selling things was hard for me. I had my own shop tools because I really enjoy creating sculpture by welding and woodworking. These tools have been in storage for awhile because I had found shared space where someone had these tools for me to use. Now, as I sold my tools I felt as if part of my identity was being ripped away. Will I be able to find another place in
Since Jeff was in the build space all day near the end of construction while in
Jeff's only big items was his mission & leather furniture. When I married him he came with a whole apartment full of well made furniture that could be handed down to another generation or two. We have lived in many apartments and houses over the years and his was the type of furniture that when people came into our space for the first time they'd say, "Wow!". It was comfortable, it was beautiful, it was sturdy. Rick was moving to Albuquirky a few weeks before our move to
What we sold: wood/metal shop tools, apartment full of furniture.
The give away was quicker and easier than the sales were (of course). I was short on time but we lived in a large apartment complex so I took a few color pictures, made some flyers and posted them in each of the buildings lobbies early one Saturday. By 5pm all of the items had been removed from my apartment by very happy, nice people. I didn't have to post them on Craigslist or Freecycle or cart them off to Goodwill and I felt as if lightening my load had made me happier as well.
What we gave away: desk, leather computer chair, collection of masks from around the world, plants, quality queen & twin mattresses, lacquered storage chest, lamps, house wares, antique armoire, dining table, file cabinet, shelves, clothes...
Not all things went though.
What we kept: 2 folding leather chairs, 1 wooden chair, tableware and silverware for four, pans, some clothes / shoes... currently we have a large toolbox in our living room with some fabric thrown over it for use as a sofa as well as 3 other boxes of hand tools / building supplies. As construction slows these tools will go into my brother's basement. I also have 4 boxes of fabric that are currently in my mom's house and these will come to our house for storage under a real sofa once I find one that fits our odd requirements (needs to fit in the 22" wide door, needs to be shallow, but can be 7' long). What I'm thinking is 4 to 6 dining chairs attached side by side with some padding on top; a unit that will look like a Swedish settee. I do woodworking, and I can sew, so making something like this (rather than buying something from Ikea) will be easy and is much more appealing to Jeff and me.
What we bought: a really decent mattress, coir floor mats with rubber underneath them for the foyer because it's going to be wet soon and we need a place to drip while we remove our shoes when we arrive home, a small 'side table' with shoe cubbies below to sit on in the foyer while removing our shoes, 2 wire hanging baskets for fruit to free up the counter tops, screws and other stuff to finish building.
Tip: Give yourself more time to get rid of things than you think it will take. You think it will take 6 months? Give yourself a year. I feel as if I could have recovered some of the money I'd spent on the items if I'd sold them instead of given them away, or sold them at higher prices, but I simply felt rushed to sell them so they went for yard sale prices. Avoid the stress of rushing, and avoid the feeling of losing money off the good work of downsizing, by giving yourself lots of time to get comfortable with the process.