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In the post I put up the other day, I referenced an article entitled Tips for Moving Into a Smaller Space.

At the time I wrote the post, I had only read the article. Last night, I read the comments. There are A LOT of comments, but here are a few recurring points:

1. I don't want to leave this for my kids to do when I'm dead/disabled. This was a biggie, and often came from people whose parents had died, leaving years and years worth of stuff for them to go through and make decisions about, although there was the occasional enlightened person who really didn't want folks to have to go through stuff just because they'd thought it through.

I have to say that this particular rationale for downsizing hadn't yet occurred to me, but it is sensible and wise, and I'm sure the people I know who have spent lots of time helping a loved one declutter or downsize have thought about this, even if they haven't all taken vows not to let this happen to them.

2. Storage was a waste of time and money. My sweetheart and I had already reached the conclusion that we weren't paying for storage (as noted in the prior post), but many of the folks who went this route while building their newer, smaller spaces found that their old stuff didn't always fit in their new space. Maybe it was oversized, or just not a good fit in either placement or style for their new home. Most of them regretted the storage decision, and many of those who had stored stuff after moving into their new spaces found that they couldn't tell you what was in the storage unit and didn't miss it. Interesting.

3. Objects own you, if you'r not careful. Getting rid of lots of them is liberating. I read it enough time to believe the people who say it.

Reading all the comments gave me new motivation to get rid of stuff, and brought me peace. Especially after seeing how happy most of the people who had gotten rid of lots of stuff felt about it, even if the decision at the time hadn't been something they particularly enjoyed. There were a few folks, of course, who found that they had downsized a bit too far - their husband still needed his shop, for instance, or they really needed a separate sitting room in their house to get away from the TV, etc. I think it's good for folks to really know themselves and what they need.

And having read all those comments, I am pretty well convinced that there's not a whole lot of my "stuff" that I really and truly need to keep going forward. I plan on adopting the policy of one of the commenters. I plan to "get rid of anything that does not bring pleasure, beauty or purpose into my life." How liberating, indeed!


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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jessica_shea
Nov. 18th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
This has been such an interesting, inspirational series, Kelly!

My husband & I have been in our house for 5 years now - which I somehow just realized this week. That realization and our upcoming holiday party made me want to go through each room and declutter and downsize. Part of my desire to do it is that I feel way more zen in uncluttered spaces. Part of it is that we can surely give away a lot of things to Goodwill that we never use and others might. And part of it is because my MIL is a bit of a hoarder and I abhor the notion of becoming like that. When her aunt died 15 years ago, they moved into her small WWII-era house. They have their own things, her things, plus things from both sets of my husband's grandparents. Being in the house with boxes lining the walls and stuff covering every available surface gives me the heeby-jeebies. I dread the day we have to sort through it plus a storage unit!
kellyrfineman
Nov. 20th, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
Oh my . . . you are in for it one of these days, I'm afraid, especially if your in-laws can't be convinced to make a start on their own.

I had the hardest time starting on downsizing books. Now I'm finding it hard to justify keeping all that many of them. I've sent hundreds and hundreds of them to the library for donation or sale. That included cookbooks - I used to have two full shelves plus, and now I have about 2/3 of a shelf total. It feels good knowing that I only keep what I actually use, and not the "just in case" or "someday" stuff that never materializes.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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