In today’s world, we tend to have more stuff than we actually need. Our society has been brainwashed to believe that with success comes the accumulation of more stuff. The idea that “bigger is better” is our way of life in North America.
However, we feel like times are beginning to slowly change. Stuff = clutter and clutter is not good for the mind. Most of us have discovered that having more things actually tends to make us more irritable and not as happy as we once thought. This is an exciting time.
Downsizing is a term that I’m sure you have all heard. It is figuring out a way to have less stuff and, ultimately, more efficiency with the things we do have.
Here are six reasons why you may want to consider downsizing:
1. Getting rid of clutter
We all know the feeling of looking at our living room or kitchen and seeing heaping piles of laundry to put away, loose paperwork, and random knick knacks all over the place. Maybe it’s toys or, if your kids are all grown up already, it could be the random collections we tend to have as empty nester’s – magazine piles, the ten remotes we need to run all of our electronics, golf clubs, Kitchen-Aid mixers, and all the other equipment we need to live our lives. So we all have also experienced the feeling of saying in anguish, “There’s just too much stuff in here!”
Getting rid of clutter literally clears away a mental obstacle we have to living our best lives. It allows us to see more clearly and feel calmer. Isn’t that reason enough alone to downsize?
2. Freeing up living space (i.e. becoming more mindful)
Just as I mentioned above, often clearing the clutter frees up literal living space. You can breathe better through the organization and glistening new walls that you haven’t seen in months. Once you replace that dowdy old sofa chair that was taking up twice the amount of space, you can place a modern looking plant that cleanses the air and places a feeling of freshness to your house. When you take out the big, looming bookshelf and books you haven’t read in years, you can replace it with the beautiful new cookbooks you’ve purchased so that they’re actually on hand when you want to make that go-to meal. Your space becomes functional and a lot more about living.
3. Make money
An expression I once heard was, “Everything’s for sale for a price.” While this might not be true about your passed down grandfather clock, I’m sure that there is a lot of other things you may have in your space that someone else would spend a pretty penny to acquire. With sites like Kijiji, where you can place used furniture, clothing and equipment online, you could be sitting on a fortune.
4. Help somebody else
There are many organizations that will take in donations and give them to those who truly need them. Not only that, there are a few that will actually come and pick up your items for no cost. All you have to do is make a phone call into Salvation Army, or other organizations in your local town, and that old fridge that’s been sitting in your garage will be whisked away to someone who can’t afford one in a moment’s notice. Now that’s a reason to smile!
5. Ease personal crisis
This is a sensitive topic, but one that is close to home. When my parents decided to suddenly leave my family home after 12 years of being there, I had to make a specific (and costly) trip home in order to go through my personal belongings. There are times when other types of crisis arise, like losing a job or a death in the family. This can be one of the greatest reasons to think about downsizing, because you don’t want your loved ones to be stuck having to figure everything out on their own if something was to happen. It’s tough to think in these sensitive times and downsizing before a crisis can save a ton of time and heartache.
Sometimes downsizing is simply a matter of efficiency. If you don’t really need those three extra bedrooms, but there are special items you would like to keep safe regardless of the size of your home, you could downsize to a smaller place and store these things with a mobile storage company. These companies come to you, rather than you having to go down to a dusty storage unit yourself. They bring you boxes, you pack up what you need in them, and they whisk them away. When Christmas rolls around and you need those decorations, you simply go online and order them right to your door. Sometimes this time saving and use of efficient storage can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars – depending on how much you’ve been storing in that big old house!