I recently read an article that really resonated with me, not only because I work with a lot clients who are thinking about downsizing, or are in the process of downsizing, but because I also find myself thinking ahead about what I want my living situation to be. The article was about starting the process and I wanted to share some of what I gleaned from it, as well as some of my thoughts.
My clients typically think about moving to a smaller home, a home with everything on one level, or maybe a retirement community, and this will spark the realization that downsizing is upon them. It happens in that big “aha” moment when we realize that our old life is just not working and there’s the hint of a transition coming. It also means we need to think about getting rid of stuff. And, we’re hit with the big whammy of letting go of a lifetime of accumulations, AKA stuff.
What if we approach the “downsizing” as “right-sizing”? Doesn’t right-sizing have a more positive feel to it? Most folks are not thrilled with the idea of downsizing. Right-sizing is more than just getting rid of stuff. It’s about taking control of our stuff instead of allowing our stuff to control us. And, the difference between “downsizing” and “right-sizing” is you don’t have to be moving to start the process of right-sizing.
I think some good questions to ask are, “What takes up your time, space, and energy? Are these things more of a burden or a joy?” Perhaps, the time is right to start thinking about alleviating ourselves of those things, or stuff, that gives us anxiety. Right-sizing can allow us to give up burdens or responsibilities that tie up time and energy, thereby giving us the freedom to do those things that make us happy going forward. It can also give us a sense of empowerment and allow us to explore options.
Here are some tips and tricks and things to think about to get you started on the path to right-sizing.
Even if you’re not considering a move in the near future and plan to age in place, merely closing off a room that is rarely used, or even a second floor, can be a step forward. These areas would no longer require heating, cooling, and regular cleaning, thus saving you time and money. Most of us rarely “live” in every part of our home.
Gifts from family and friends should not be an obligation. If you don’t want to keep the item or maybe want to pass it on to someone else, consider taking a photo of it and keeping the photos in a scrapbook with a mention of the story behind the item and the occasion for which it was given.
The process of right-sizing should not be about loss, but about what matters most to you. It shouldn’t necessarily be about the financial value of the items, but the emotional value as well.
Many folks feel enormous satisfaction from donating items. Goodwill, charities, churches, and shelters are places that could be considered when donating items.
There are also folks who specialize in organizing and helping with the process. There are Senior Move Managers in almost every community.
So, maybe this is a good time to start thinking about the idea of right-sizing your life? Simplifying one’s lifestyle can definitely lead to less stress, more time, and more freedom to do those things that allow us to live and love our life!