An Excerpt from the Book
“BEST CHRISTMAS EVER”
Several years ago, I met with a new client who shared with me that they had succeeded in getting their 3 children through college and it was now time to have the kitchen they had dreamed about for many years. They had put their dream kitchen on hold until they no longer had college expenses.
When I asked them to tell me about their dream kitchen, they proceeded to describe a new look, new appliances, and new lighting within their existing space. When I started to ask questions about how often they used their adjoining dining room, they responded, “three times per year.” I then asked them if they would consider bumping through that wall to double the size of their existing kitchen. They were excited about that possibility.
Then pushing even more boundaries, I asked them what they thought of partially opening another wall into their family/ TV room.
I will never forget their response, “You mean so that we can all be together?”
When I said that was definitely possible, I could see the excitement on their faces… their big dreams just got bigger! And it was possible within the budget they allotted.
Their kitchen renovation was completed a week before Christmas. Several weeks after the holiday season, I stopped by to drop off a small gift. I was greeted with huge hugs and both of them saying, “This was the best Christmas ever.” When I asked them why, they said, “We were all finally able to be together. No longer separated by walls.”
“Downsizing your life is a roller coaster of emotions. I would be lying to say it is easy.” – Rita Wilkins, “The Downsizing Designer”
Rita’s downsizing journey was inspired by a trip to a third world country when she traveled to Senegal, West Africa to visit her son who was serving in the Peace Corps. She was profoundly moved by the people who were truly happy even though they had so little. This experience ignited a new passion for living a simpler life with less, which then led her to downsizing from a 5,000 sq. ft. home to an 867 sq. ft. apartment. She fearlessly gave away 95% of her belongings to people who needed or wanted them. Now she lives with 5% of what she once owned and has never been happier. She now has more time, money, and freedom to pursue what matters most to her.
Having experienced the life-changing impact of living abundantly with less, Rita shared her story on the TEDx stage: Downsize Your Life, Why Less Is More. It also inspired her to write this book, Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle so that others might consider the benefits of owning fewer possessions so that they can make room for what matters most to them.
Another Excerpt from the Book: My Closet Made Me Cry
“It was a dreary Winter day. Perfect for attacking the first of my many closets…or so I thought. I opened the door to one of my master bedroom closets and stared at a room full of clothes filled with beautiful dresses and suits, many of which had not been worn in years. Some of them still had tags on them.
Touching each piece of clothing, I was filled with emotions ranging from guilt to shame to pure disgust. What made me purchase so recklessly? Did I really need all of these? Weekend after weekend, I would fill my lonely days in search of that “perfect little black dress” for the “someday” perfect date. Then, I counted four other little black dresses that looked exactly like the others.”
Lessons Learned from My Downsizing Journey:
- Stop making “stuff” mean something.
- How rich life can be when you own less.
- How too much “stuff” detracts from inner peace and true happiness.
Readers will love her inspirational stories and learn from her useful, practical tips and strategies that they can immediately apply to their own lives to unlock, unload, and unburden themselves from what they think they can’t live without.
Rita uses real-life stories and examples to showcase how simple lifestyle upgrades each day can elevate your happiness and overall quality of life. This book will inspire you to see your life through a whole new lens and challenge you to downsize your life so that you can upgrade your lifestyle.
Rita Wilkins, also known as “The Downsizing Designer,” TEDx speaker, and nationally recognized interior design and lifestyle expert, will inspire you to:
- Downsize your physical and emotional clutter to make room for what matters most to you.
- Let go of your invisible barriers that stop you from saying “I wish I had…”
- Reimagine, reinvent, redesign how you live, work, and play so you can have more time, money, and freedom.
You will learn how to live the life you love…by design!
“Rita Wilkins shows us how to live with greater simplicity, generosity and power.”
– Steve Harrison, Co-founder National Publicity Summit
“Rita Wilkins has tapped into the zeitgeist of ‘third acts’ in life. Her advice, personal stories, and top ten tips throughout the book will resonate with anyone, female or male, married or unmarried, who wants to make the most of the last third of their life. She nails the best ways to unlock, unload, and unburden yourself from what you think you can’t live without and guides you into a future that you have always dreamed of. Her book is about way more than setting intentions. It is loaded with step-by-step practical actions to get rid of mental, emotional, and physical stuff. Once done with getting unleashed as Rita has done for herself, she helps you create and explore the best life that works for you. Read this book and bring freedom, and adventure back into your life.”
– Gerry Lantz, President, Stories That Work
“Do you want to kick your clutter to the curb? Do you want to make more room for yourself, your passion, your goals and your joy? Rita Wilkins, in this very transformational book, shows you how to get bigger as your stuff gets smaller. Before you know it – it will be gone and you will appear.”
– Dr. Jim Smith, Jr., CSP, Best Selling Author of The No Excuse Guide to Success and From Average to Awesome, Speaker, Trainer, Coach, Personal Power and Authenticity Expert, CEO Jim Smith Jr. International
“Downsize. Declutter. Design: The 3-D guide for anyone considering a healthy change in lifestyle. Written by Rita Wilkins, a nationally recognized design expert, Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle is the opening salvo to a more fulfilling and meaningful Third Act. Embrace your future now and let Rita’s gentle guidance help take you there. It’s a 3-D journey you will forever cherish.”
– Richard Campbell, Co-Author of Writing Your Legacy: The Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Life Story
“Simplicity truly increases happiness. Instead, so many people pursue “more stuff” hoping they’ll be happier but actually find themselves even less satisfied! This is a must read for anyone who wants a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Downsize Your Life, Upgrade Your Lifestyle gets straight to the heart of what you need to do to make the rest of your life the best of your life.”
– Jen Groover, Inventor, Author of What If? & Why Not, Global Speaker
“This book cuts straight to the chase on what you need to do to make room for what matters most to you and consciously design a life worth living.”
– Tony Jeton Selimi, #1 Bestselling Author of A Path to Wisdom, Human Behavior Specialist and Award Winning Filmmaker
About the Downsizing Designer
Rita Wilkins, also known as “The Downsizing Designer,” is a nationally recognized interior design and lifestyle design expert, and TEDx speaker. In addition to having designed thousands of residential and commercial interiors all over the United States, she spent the last three decades studying, observing, and impacting how people live, work and play in their environments.
She is a master of reinventing lives, including her own. Several years ago she was profoundly impacted by a trip to a third world country, “where people had so little but they were happy.” A few years later, Rita downsized from her 5,000 square foot home to a 867 square foot jewel box apartment in Philadelphia. She gave away 95% of her possessions to people who needed them or wanted them. She is now living with 5% of what she once owned – and has never been happier.
Rita is the real deal. She walked the walk and when she downsized she, too, experienced the pain of letting go of possessions that she had emotional attachment to. But she also experienced the life-changing benefits and joy of living a simpler life with less. She now has more time, money and freedom to pursue what matters most.
In her book, Rita uses the same design principles she has successfully used for over 35 years to help readers think differently about their own lives. She has the rare ability to help people, “see through their invisible walls” of fear, and discover what prevents them from having the life they really want – and deserve. She is an expert in helping people reimagine, reinvent and redesign their lives!
Rita is a popular guest on radio, TV, and podcasts reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners, viewers, and readers across the US. A highly sought after thought leader on the baby boomer generation and the movement to live abundantly with less, she is a regular contributor to business and lifestyle publication blogs.
A dynamic transformational speaker, she authentically connects with her audiences, inspiring them and empowering them to live the life they love… by design.
Rita lives in the heart of historic Philadelphia, loves her new life as a city girl. She is the proud mother of two happily married sons and is excited about being a new grandmother. Always creating something new and challenging, she just spent 30 days in the south of France prototyping a new location independent lifestyle, Work 3 and Play 4.
If you want to learn more contact Rita directly at RitaWilkins@RitaWilkins.com