The Truth About Downsizing

I could not let go of the Canada Bear

This year we have started to pare down our belongings. It all started with a full interior paint of our house. We also replaced most of our flooring.  There is nothing like having to empty out your closets or move heavy furniture around to make you evaluate why you have accumulated so much stuff.  Could we really organize our life to live full time in our RV when we retire?

This weekend, we spent Saturday morning cleaning the garage. I had several shelves full of Christmas decorations, my children’s childhood toys, photographs and the like. I was flooded with memories as I sorted through the big box of stuffed animals. I held the elephant I took to South Africa as a child. My son’s first teddy bear was covered in lipstick as he tried to imitate me getting ready for work one morning. 

It took a long time to go through that box. Going through the Christmas decorations wasn’t any faster. We all need a paper mache Christmas wreath that was made by your once upon a time second grader. Right?

Only 30 more boxes to go.

When I looked at my watch it was almost noon. I had barely made a dent in my sorting.  Feeling tired and discouraged I packed up the boxes and vowed to return to my task on another day. What I failed to realize, is how much of a physical an emotional toll this took from me.

I know there are lots of how- to- downsize advice available. I don’t think Marie Kondo would give my attempt a high grade. Nevertheless, it was a start. I did fill quite a few bins to donate to the church garage sale.

I need to stop trying to meet other people’s expectations when it comes to getting rid of things. There are some items I do not want to give away. There are some articles that I treasure because they hold a cherished memory. 

I know if I keep at it one step at a time, I will get to a place where I feel ready to move into the next phase of my life. Whether it’s an RV or a smaller house, I will have downsized on my terms and timeline. 

Is that not the better way to go? 

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2 Responses to The Truth About Downsizing

  1. Gary Worry says:

    Good for you. I did that when I became a full timer. As we get older, good to live smaller and simpler.

  2. Chris D says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I find downsizing exhausting both physically and emotionally. I have all my parents memories in boxes and many of my own accumulations to go through. I want to keep my memories, but having no heirs or family, I realize all must go while I’m alive. What if I have to move? It would take me a long time to pack it all up. I will do like you mention. Tackle a little at a time and keep my important memories. Thanks for validating my feelings on the whole downsizing issue

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