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Downsizing – It’s All About Attitude

There’s lots of reasons you may be considering downsizing to a smaller home. You and countless other folks are contemplating the pros and cons of downsizing, and while this task may look insurmountable at first glance, there’s a lot of benefits to scaling back. Whether moving to a smaller home or to simplify your life, in downsizing –  it’s all about attitude to get the job done.
Downsizing - It's All About AttitudeThe downturn in our economy has had a lasting impact on many folks, and moving to a smaller home might be a cost-effective way to minimize your budget. Or, you may have empty nest syndrome – you’ve finally gotten the kids all out of the house and those extras rooms just aren’t necessary anymore. Other folks may decide on a smaller home where they can age in place to ensure they’ll be able to maintain their independence as long as possible.

Develop A Less-Is-More Mentality

Regardless of your reasons, one of the most important things to do is acquire the right mindset. Until you’re emotionally ready to divest yourself of some of your carefully acquired possessions, you’ll never be content with your decision.It’s not so much about needing things as wanting things. You probably have loads of stuff that isn’t necessary, but you think you need. Consider why a possession makes you happy. Does it stir happy memories? Is it a gift that would make you feel guilty if you got rid of it? Is it an heirloom passed down through the family? Or, is it something you would grab if there were a fire and you had only minutes to take things that are really important to you?If you can come to the understanding that many of those possessions don’t really add to your contentment and are really just excess baggage, you’re one step closer to downsizing to a smaller space successfully and happily.

What To Do With That Baggage?

We all have tokens and mementos that we can’t imagine parting with. Is it really the item that’s important, or is it the memory it sparks? One good way to keep those treasures is to take photos of all those lovely trinkets – you’ll never lose those memories and that photo can recall the person or event just as well as the article. Whether printed out and added to an album or captured digitally, keeping those memories doesn’t need to take up space. Now they can go away with no regrets.Those gifts presented by well-meaning friends and family that you really don’t want, but are afraid to get rid of, can go in the photo album if you must, but maybe it’s time to just go ahead and get rid of the ugly elephant lamp Aunt Emma gave you 15 years ago. Get over your guilt and just do it. You always have the excuse of your much smaller digs, and there’s a good chance she’ll never even mention it, let alone remember it. As far as those heirlooms are concerned, if your kids are old enough, why make them wait until it’s time to read the will? Give them those keepsakes now and let them enjoy them. They’re probably still in the ‘acquiring phase’ of their lives.

How Much Is Too Much?

Do you really need several sets of dishes and silverware, more pots and pans than a four-star restaurant and enough bed and bath linens to stock the local Holiday Inn? Does your garage look like a stockroom for a hardware store? You can pare these things down to the basics and still not feel deprived.

The same thing goes for collections. This can be hard, but a lifetime collection of anything can be judiciously scaled down. Consider the kind of space you are planning on living in and make a plan for how much space you can reasonably allocate to your collections. Is an étagère enough, or do you need a china cabinet for your small items? Can your book collection be trimmed to fit in a couple bookcases in the spare bedroom? How many paintings will reasonably fit on the walls of your new, smaller house?

Feeling That Sense Of Freedom

One day, that light bulb will turn on, and with it comes a feeling of relief, anticipation and maybe even adventure. When you finally come to the realization that those masses of possessions aren’t helping, but hindering, you – you’ve arrived. Now, it’s time to get busy with renewed vigor and start culling the herd.

As you pare away the layers of detritus, you’ll feel that baggage just drifting away, leaving you lighter and less confined. You’re preparing for a new phase of your life and are ready for the next chapter to begin.

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