Homeowners across the world are realizing the benefits of downsizing. The days of acquiring ‘stuff’ and keeping up with the neighbors are behind us. Instead, we are extolling the virtues of a simpler, less materialistic life.
There are many benefits of downsizing. First and foremost it will save you money. You can expect to pay less for a smaller home and the running costs, such as fuel, lighting, water, etc. will also be much less. All those savings are the equivalent of a big pay rise, and you are free to spend your money on experiences rather than possessions. Plus, because you will be using less of everything, you’ll be leaving less of a carbon footprint.
In addition to saving money, moving to a smaller abode could be good for your health. Getting rid of all that clutter helps free the mind, reduces anxiety and is good for mental wellbeing. Focusing on activities rather than possessions is also good for your physical health.
Whether you’re moving to a slightly smaller townhouse or immersing yourself in the full experience and looking at tiny houses, what are you going to do with your possessions?
How To Downsize
The first step to living a simpler life and reducing your home and possessions is to declutter. Depending on the size of your new property, you need to be brutal in your choices. Purge your home of all those items you no longer need.
1. Start With The Big Stuff
If you’re moving from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom house, you won’t be needing four beds and four wardrobes, etc. Work out which ones you want to keep and ditch or sell the rest.
Go through the floor plan of your new home and measure your furniture. It may be that your current sofa and chairs won’t fit into your new home. There’s no point in cramming everything in. If it’s surplus to requirements, get rid of it.
2. Items You’re Not Using
Next go through and remove items you’re no longer using. So remove the books you’ve read and the films you’ve watched. Don’t just throw them away. You may be able to sell some of them and raise a few dollars. It all helps towards moving expenses. For items you can’t sell, consider dontaing them to charity shops.
3. Sentimental Items
Everyone has sentimental items. These are often items that are not practical, but you feel an emotional connection to. They could be photographs, knick-knacks, gifts and keepsakes. There’s no need to get rid of those. Go through them and pick out items that you won’t miss. But keep the rest. This should be an ongoing process, and so at a later stage, you may decide you no longer need them.
A great way of creating more space is to go digital. Books, CDs and DVDs all take up space. Consider digitizing everything instead. Purchase an e-reader and buy digital books only. Rip DVDs and CDs so you can listen to and watch them online and then get rid of the physical versions.
Photographs can also be scanned and uploaded. In fact, it makes good sense to do this in case of fire or damage.
5. Establish Rules
When you’re working out what to get rid of, it helps to apply rules. One of these is that if you haven’t worn or used an item for over a year, you’re not likely to use it. Therefore, it can be safely disposed of. There may be a few exceptions, and so you will need to use common sense.
Once you have gone through this process, it’s important to change your approach to possessions. Think before you buy. Do you really need it? How/when will you use it? Do you have space to store it? Living with less material clutter can be freeing. And you can live a bigger but much simpler life.