This year My husband and I are downsizing. We are eliminating everything we no longer need or want and are planning to move to a smaller home that fits our lifestyle.
Perhaps Rightsizing is a better word to describe what we are doing. The dictionary definition of rightsizing is “to adjust to an appropriate size,” and that’s what we are attempting to do. We are rightsizing our lives, choosing only to keep what is sufficient for us at this phase in our life.
Doing this hasn’t been easy. It has required many hours going through each item in our house and deciding whether we should keep it or let it go. We’ve been amazed at how much stuff we’ve gotten rid of, and we’re still not finished.
For the method we use for decluttering, check out my post, The Best Way to Declutter Your Home Fast When Downsizing.
We’ve also discovered something through this process. We realize there are five reasons we hold onto things and why we are now letting them go.
5 Reasons why We Hang on to Stuff and How to Let It Go:
Most of the stuff in this category were reminders of special moments. My prom dresses (from way too many years and sizes ago), boxes of children’s clothes and toys, trophies our kids received, etc. They were all stored away, never seen but kept because of the memories.
Memories, however, aren’t in the items themselves. Whether we keep something or not, we hold on to the memory it contains. We asked our children what they wanted to save. They requested a few things but not nearly as many as we thought they would. We took pictures of several items and then let them go.
Now we no longer have boxes to move and store just beautiful memories.
We Might Need It Someday
The next category was anything we might need someday. Clothes that were too small but we might fit back into one day. Tools we used once but might use again. Anything that eventually could be needed.
We decided that if we hadn’t used it in the last year and had no plans to use it in the next six months, we should get rid of it.
More Than Enough
Having multiples of items was another category for us. Did we need three crockpots of different sizes or would one medium one be enough? How many ice tea pitchers do two people need? We pared down these types of items to one or two and eliminated the rest.
These were all the things we kept because one day we wanted to…. Do this or make that. Now, this was a hard one for me. I am a craft junky! I had a walk-in closet filled with a variety of craft projects. If I live to be 100, I doubt I could make all the crafts that were in that closet! Maybe I exaggerate, but there were a lot.
I narrowed my hobbies to just a couple that I enjoyed doing and donated the rest. The craft closet is gone! The crafts I kept easily fit on a shelf.
I have decided that in the future if I want to make a craft or work on a project, I will buy the materials and finish that project before I start a new one. At least that is the plan. We will see how well I stick to it!
Crafts weren’t the only things in this category, but they were the biggest part of it.
Everything else was items that we once used but no longer need. They were cluttering closets and drawers and taking up space. These were the easiest to get rid of because we had no emotional connection and no practical reason to keep them.
Recognizing the reasons we were holding on to stuff, made it simpler to let go of it. We are nearing the end of our decluttering, but continue to find more things to get rid of. The more we eliminate, the more we find we no longer need. We are discovering that we need and want a lot less than we thought we did.
Now the items we have are only what we use and enjoy. The house is easier to keep clean because the clutter is gone. I like that! My only regret is that we didn’t do this years ago!