Chaos, stress, confusion, heartbreak and frustration are emotions we see so often in clients after they have found themselves in the middle of a sudden life change that has made relocating necessary. With an overwhelming “to-do” list and a mountain of belongings to tackle, a move that involves downsizing will exhaust you just thinking about it. With all of that in mind, people are left wondering WHY someone would make the choice to downsize their home before an event was demanding it. So I am here to state for the record why I, of sound mind and twenty-seven years of age, have decided to downsize the items in my home.
For those of you whom I haven’t met, my name is Serena and I am the Marketing Director for ClutterTroops Organizing Solutions. I am also one of the authors on the ClutterTalk Blog. In my personal life, I am a mother to a wonderful 8-month-old boy. I’m the girlfriend to a highly intelligent man-child. And I am the owner of two very neurotic dogs. Together, we have had a busy year adjusting to our new family life, including three moves and becoming first time home owners.
I’ll be the first to admit that space is not an issue for us. We purchased a home that is appropriately sized for our family and our lifestyle. There is plenty of space for our massive library, movie collection, and the tchotchkes. That being said, none of these items are going with us as we make our transition to our new home.
I think we can all agree that being an adult is just juggling conflicting responsibilities all day long. And in return, we are allowed to buy wine. Our Fitzgerald-esque American dream is to simply enjoy some of that time in-between. And maybe, just maybe… live a more fulfilling life. So, if your life is anything like mine, you’re probably going to bed every night feeling as though you have failed. I ask myself how I could effectively do more. However, I’m beginning to think I’ve been asking myself the wrong question. What I really want to know is- how can I do LESS?
Being the token neat freak in my house, it honestly didn’t occur to me how the time I spent cleaning could be hurtful to my significant other. He’s not as bothered by messes and really doesn’t believe it is necessary to sacrifice relaxing for cleaning. I thought, “It’s not like I WANT to do this, but this is our home, this is our stuff, and it needs taken care of.” I still believe that, of course, but what if we DIDN’T have so much stuff? It was at that point that I decided that a change had to be made. As a result, we could both be happy. It was time to downsize.
I saw my books as trophies, a world that I had explored and conquered. I thought it would be incredibly painful to part with them. What I found is that I was actually relieved to know that I would never again be frantically dusting my many bookshelves before company came over.
For my kitchen, I decided that I would get rid of any item that had only one function. And if I didn’t use at least once a week, it was gone. In doing this, I freed up space in the cupboards so that my counter tops are less cluttered. Even a deep clean on the counters takes only minutes. This is because I’m no longer fussing with moving things back and forth to clear the area. As a person who spends a lot of their time in the kitchen, I can appreciate less mess and more working space!
I always assumed that as long as I was taking care of everything that I owned, I was being efficient. Now I realize that the time and labor spent on caring for unused items was actually taking away from my family, friends, and general happiness. With easy, regular maintenance, our home can stay clean. Now our free-time can be spent visiting extended family, experiencing new things, or even just enjoying some guilt-free downtime.