I ran into a client the other day who recently downsized. The very first thing she said to me was,
“WHY DID WE WAIT SO LONG TO DOWNSIZE?!”
She went on to say how much happier they are now without the burden and expense of the big house, all of the “stuff” they had accumulated, and the excessive amount of time, money, and energy that it took to care for their large home, property, and belongings.
They had just returned from a month long trip to South America, a trip they dreamed of for many years, but could never afford the time or money to leave for extended periods of time. Now they live in a much smaller home that is the right size for them.
They are a perfect example of WHY LIVING WITH LESS IS LIVING MORE.
They now have more time, money, freedom, and energy to pursue what matters most to them. With fewer possessions and fewer responsibilities, they can now live that carefree lifestyle they yearned for.
A SIMPLER LIFE
If a simpler life with less stress, less stuff, and less overwhelm appeals to you, perhaps downsizing is in your future too. Are you thinking of downsizing from your large home to one that suits your current needs and desires, one that will allow for a new lifestyle that you really want?
As baby boomers, it made sense for us to have larger homes when we were raising our families, but as we enter new stages or transitions in our lives… empty nest, retirement, divorce, death of spouse, the desire to have more mobility, flexibility and less responsibility becomes quite appealing.
WHAT STOPS US FROM HAVING WHAT WE MOST WANT?
Many things prevent us from making this big decision, mostly fear:
- The fear that downsizing means downgrading your lifestyle.
- The fear of letting go of the memories associated with the big house, family and fun times.
- The fear of not knowing whether you will enjoy living in a smaller space.
- The fear and anxiety of not knowing where to even begin the overwhelming process of downsizing
- The concern about letting go and what you do with all of your stuff, including granny’s heirlooms.
As a baby boomer myself, I experienced the same fears, concerns, and emotions during my downsizing journey, but after a life-changing trip to a Third World country where people had nothing but were happy, I returned home knowing that I wanted to live a simpler life with less.
But the truth was that…
- My closets were overflowing with too many clothes.
- My car could barely fit into the garage.
- My basement was filled with boxes that hadn’t been opened in 10 years.
And the other ugly truth was that I continued to buy MORE. I finally began to question whether all of these things made me happy
at all. Then, two years ago, I chose to downsize from my big home in the country and move to my tiny jewel apartment in Philadelphia. I am now living a life I love with substantially less. With less stress, less stuff, I now have room for MORE life.
THE DOWNSIZING DESIGN PROCESS
While downsizing, I developed a design process that is intended to assist you with making your journey efficient, effective, and fun!
The ABC’s of Downsizing with Rita Wilkins. It will help you strategize and organize your move while providing tips for building and scheduling your team who will assist you in implementing your project…while having fun!
A few other tips when downsizing:
- Phase your move. Move large items first so you know they look good and fit. Next, the smaller items. Then edit.
- Don’t clutter your new smaller space. Less is more.
- Select furniture that is multi functional. You will need less furniture and it will keep the space more open.
DESIGN THE LIFE YOU LOVE
At the heart of every change is a moment of truth:
To have the life I really wanted, to have the time money and freedom to focus on what I really wanted, I discovered that I didn’t need MORE. I discovered I actually needed LESS. Like my client, I find myself saying, “WHY DIDN’T I DOWNSIZE SOONER?”