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Downsizing – Live a Life of Choices Instead of Stuff

At some point in this life, and for many different reasons, everyone downsizes. Some see this task as a personal challenge or an opportunity for growth and it is! Others put it off for years and the process inevitably becomes more challenging. In both circumstances you are bound to find things you forgot you owned. Find treasures that evoke memories you haven’t revisited in years. And ultimately, Downsizing will LIBERATE you from excess and allow you to reprioritize how you want to spend your time. What are you making space for? So how do we get there?

Envision your destination.

“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry James

Know the size of the new space. If possible, take pictures of the new place. Use your garage or basement to better serve your boxes that were easy for you to pack.

Determine the color scheme or décor style. Now is the time to redesign. When deciding between two items, you can choose knowing that one will look better with the décor!

Get started.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

  • Give yourself plenty of time, this undertaking is going to take longer than you think.
  • Set small daily or weekly goals. Focus on the small stuff, like pens or toiletries.
  • Take plenty of pictures along the way to document your progress. It will encourage you to press on.

Be consistent.

  • Pick an area, category, or item to conquer with each session.

  • Give each session a time limit. Set a reasonable expectation based on your stamina.
  • Plan to have donations picked up. If a family member is going to be the recipient, set clear expectations of a date and time for pick up.

What to do when you hit a snag.

“Problems are not stop-signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert Schuller

Moving is difficult. Downsizing even if a move isn’t part of the equation is difficult. Making decisions about stuff that you have treasured for a good part of your life is difficult. When you have those tough moments, remind yourself of the DREAM and consider:

  • Call for help when you feel you are moving in circles. A third party will give you a fresh unbiased perspective.
  • Work with a buddy, we are social creatures. Working with a friend makes everything seem lighter and more enjoyable.
  • Suggest that your family gift you time of a professional organizer. This is what they do! Their expertise will save you time and ease your anxiety while you work.
  • Honor your treasured memories by prioritizing: Items that will take extra care and planning should be saved for a time when stress is low.

No matter the size of your goal go easy on yourself. Give yourself time to celebrate your small successes. After all organizing is a process not a project. As you work through all that you own, experience the relief of decision making and breathe life into your dream. Know that we are wishing you the momentum and support you need to DOWNSIZE!

– Heather Fedewa of The Opportune Organizer

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