4 Tips for Downsizing Your House and Your Life

I’m getting ready to move across the country. We’re going to start out in an apartment that is 250 square feet smaller than our current home. However, we will also be without the under-house crawl space we’ve had for storage. So this new state of affairs has been interesting as we get ready to downsize.

However, it’s not just the house we’re hoping to downsize in this move. We’ve also got a few life issues we’d like to downsize as well. There’s a lot of clutter in our lives and in our home, and we’re hoping to get rid of it.

1. Decide What Really Matters

The first step to any type of downsizing is to decide what really matters. Figure out what items are most important to you, and figure out why. You want to keep only things that fulfill you, and that truly enhance your life. The same is true of activities and commitments in other areas of your life. If it’s mindless tedium, downsize from your life.

2. Get Rid of Things You Haven’t Used/Looked At in a Year

This is one of the best ways to downsize items in your house. If it’s been sitting in a box for the last five years, and it’s not a family heirloom, chances are that you don’t need — and probably don’t even want — it. Get rid of it. The same method can be used for clothes, dishes, and just about anything else. If you aren’t interested enough to need it during the year, you can get rid of it. It’s a quick way to eliminate a great deal of clutter.

3. Spend Your Time According to Your Values

Once you know what really matters to you, it’s possible to decide to spend your time according to your values. Figure out your deep-seated values, and then make it a point to downsize meetings and activities that don’t reflect those values. It’s possible to let your life get so cluttered up with meetings and obligations that you forget what you value in life, and pretty soon you’re moving from place to place without truly accomplishing anything, or feeling good about what you do.

Cut out the time obligations that don’t mesh with your values, and make it a point to focus on the activities that really resonate with you on a personal level.

4. Remind Yourself of The Benefits of Downsizing

One of the best things you can do is remind yourself of the benefits of downsizing. When you are having trouble sending something to the thrift store, or throwing out an old piece of junk, remind yourself of the benefits you are about to enjoy. The same is true of downsizing your life. When you feel bad about saying no, remind yourself of the benefits you are about to have.

These benefits might include more space in your home, less money spent on keeping your stuff in good condition or storing it, and more time to do the things that matter most to you.

I’m excited for a new start in a smaller area. I think it will enhance my life.

What do you think? How do you go about downsizing?

Why You Should Consider Adopting Minimalist Principles

In the last few years, there has been a lot of interested in the idea of minimalism. The idea that you can do with less in your life is a powerful one. How many of sometimes wish that our homes and our lives were a little less cluttered?

The good news is that you don’t have to reduce your belongings to 100 of your favorite things, and you don’t have to move into a tiny house to adopt a few minimalist principles. Adding a few minimalist principles to your life can have the following benefits:

Help the Environment

By definition, living a minimalist lifestyle has less of an impact on the environment. If you live in a modest home (one that meets your needs, but isn’t ostentatious), you will use less electricity and water. That means a smaller footprint. Some minimalist principles that involve transportation can be good, since the use of public transit, or riding your bike, also reduces environmental issues.

Plus, the less you buy, the less packaging there is to throw away. There are numerous environmental benefits to minimalism. If you are interested in reducing your footprint, even just changing a few of your habits to be more in line with minimalism can help.

Save Money

Many of us like to know how our habits will affect the bottom line. Since one of the principles of minimalism is to learn to be content with less, it means that you won’t be spending as much money on items that you don’t need or maybe even want. Minimalism isn’t about never buying anything; it’s about consciously choosing to buy items that have value to you. This means carefully thinking through a purchase before making it, and ensuring that it is either truly necessary, or that you truly believe it will enhance your life in a meaningful, long-term way.

Limiting your possessions means that you free up your finances to prepare for the future, or to enjoy experiences. On top of that, many of the things that are good for the environment, such as living in a smaller home or changing the way you use transportation, can also save you money over time. You’ll have a fatter wallet, even as your life is a little more minimalist.

More Time for What You Want

Part of minimalism is avoiding being busy just for the sake of being busy. Take a look at your calendar. Are you over-scheduled? Instead of saying yes to everything that comes along, or feeling as though you need to attend every meeting, or have your kids in several activities, consider cutting back.

Figure out which items are most important to you, and which offer the most fulfillment. Those are the activities you should focus on. Really think about the two or three things you find most fulfilling, and then de-schedule the rest of your life. You’ll have more time to enjoy the things you like best, as well as more time to build relationships with friends and family.

Adding a little minimalism to your life makes sense if you are looking to live a little more fully, and if you hope to create a life that you particularly happy with.