Thursday, December 9, 2021

How I Went from Downsizing to Minimalism

I began my downsizing journey many years ago.  I found that it is more of an ongoing process than an event.  Even though there were many events within the process, it was always focused around the removal of things.  All of those cherished possessions that were taking up all of my time and space.

Each time I moved, I got rid of as many unwanted and unneeded things as possible.  But always, within a short amount of time, they would creep back in.  Gifts from family, purchases that I really didn’t need, items I thought were too sentimental to part with, etc.  All of it, just stuff.

Very little of it actually enhanced my life or well-being. 

Most of these things were relics of a life that I no longer live.  Their purpose has been served and yet I still hang on.  Somehow there is an anxiety about letting go of these things that feels like a loss.  That is when I started thinking about what that means in my life today.  Am I willing to stay shackled to the past because I refuse to release these things?

I started reading more about minimalism and how it is much more of a mindset than a physical activity.  Decluttering and organizing are ways to manage your belongings but it doesn’t help to improve your inner environment.

For me, looking at a clean, sparsely decorated room feels peaceful.  Now it was time to take this to a new level.  I wanted that feeling in all areas of my life, not just my home.  I wanted to feel that way with work, my relationships, social interactions – everything.

Downsizing:  To reduce or decrease in size.
Minimalism:  A style or technique that is characterized by simplicity.

When I looked at the definitions of downsizing and minimalism, the word that jumped out at me was Simplicity.  That is what I am after.  It doesn’t have to be small; it just has to be simple.

I have been slowly inching toward being more deliberate in how I live my life.  Evaluating what brings purpose and joy to me right now and what does not.  

I’ve had to reassess what I truly value and what the cost is to keep it. 

Henry David Thoreau said - "the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it".

Now, in my 60s, life is more precious than ever and I want to make the most out of this amazing time in my life.

As with most new things, I am starting small and taking it easy.  I don’t need to rush; I want to be thoughtful about this new lifestyle.

I am noticing that the more changes I make the better I feel and the better I feel the more changes I’m ready to make.  I love how it all works together.

Something as simple as turning off the notifications on my email feels like a victory.

Every day I am on the lookout for another area to simplify.  Is it a plant that needs repotting or a shelf that has gotten too cluttered?  Whatever it is, I just take care of it.

All the little things add up to the big things in your life.  It doesn’t matter how much you have as long as you have room for what really matters.
Have you downsized but still feel there is more to be done?  Is Minimalism something you would try?  Share your stories and join the conversation.

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