We regularly receive emails from readers looking for suggestions for how they can start ‘editing’ their lives. They find themselves living lives that feel chaotic. They have too much stuff. Their houses are too big. They might want to downsize their homes but the areas where they live do not have many options for compact housing. Their families are not necessarily aligned with the would-be simplifiers’ ambitions. They are having a hard time letting go of stuff and the idea of downsizing themselves. Almost invariably, they ask, “What do I do? Where do I start?”
Much to our chagrin, we are not oracles here at LifeEdited and have no special access to wisdom in regard to simplifying one’s life. We know how hard it can be to change habits that are often forged over several decades. We know letting go of stuff can be tough. We know that many places, particularly in the US, don’t have a ton of options for desirable compact homes in walkable areas outside of major cities. We know that getting family members and friends on the same page can be tough. We offer no easy answers.
That said, we do have some experience, both our own and from many others. With that experience, we have compiled a short list (the best kind) of suggestions we find to be pretty universally effective in starting the process of simplifying and downsizing lives:
Don’t wait for a good time to start. At risk of sounding cliché, the time to start something is–and always will be–now. Don’t worry if the changes are tiny–maybe throwing away a pair of old sneakers you never wear–make them as soon as possible.