No, I’m not doing a review on a movie or talking about your home. I’m talking about downsizing your possessions. It sucks on the outlook but the results are so relaxing, and revitalizing!
I married a minimalist. He wasn’t always an avid minimalist. It has come out over time, and he has been more assertive of it lately. Since I want him to enjoy our home just as much as I do, I know I can scale back my style to accommodate my one and only. Here are some good pointers and arguments for a more minimalist style.
- Preparing for a house responsibly- Sure living in an apartment doesn’t mean you should buy with the apartment in mind but it is wise to consider overcrowding the apartment, even if you know your house will be larger and everything more spread out.
- The difficulties I face with it- I love to gather stuff. I see things for free, or on a great deal and I can immediately see how one day that will work for our style or the perfect place for it. In all honesty, though I’m creating more clutter than we should have. Yes, one day I will look back and think, “Oh! What did I do with such and such?” but by then the likelihood of that item is exactly what I want is slim. Styles change and evolve I shouldn’t hold on to something from now in hope that one day might be really really soon.
- Do I really have too much stuff- Yes! O M Goodness YES! As I said in #1 An apartment isn’t my life goal in living, but I still shouldn’t treat my apartment with any less care. As in point #2, I love the stuff but I really don’t need it.
There are struggles to downsizing our possessions. I jump right to it then.
- The inner struggle of need versus want- Society has created a consumer mindset. “The Keeping Up With The Joneses.” It’s really sad and even sickening when we look around our home and adopt a child-like approach to our adult lives. I’m completely guilty of this myself. As I said above I love the stuff. So we ask here is that little trinket a need or a want. I wish I could say that asking yourself this will stop you but it doesn’t work. For me my question as of late is… “Do I want this item or my child more?” It sounds extreme I know but think about it from my perspective. Do I want to be able to have my child and pay off the doctor bills quickly? Or do I want to keep spending small amounts that will add up making the doctor bill that much harder to pay and adding financial stress to my bonding time with my precious child? For you, it may be another factor that stops you altogether. Before getting pregnant, it was asking myself a series of questions. Do I want this or a house? Will this go with every type of home we look at? Is this something that will require more purchases? Does it have the option to be placed in multiple areas of my home easily? More often than not this inner argument would stop me. Find what works for you.
- It’s so hard to say goodbye- It is! Learning to say goodbye to the things in your life that when you purchased it, it seemed like the perfect thing, but then you forgot how it needed other things to improve the look. Or maybe it’s that stack of one time very stylish looking magazines (Guilty!) The point here is that it is easier to hold on to something that isn’t really in your way than it is to chuck it and be done. I gathered 3 years worth of magazines, albeit, it was my choice magazines, not every month, but the thing is I held onto them because they weren’t in my way and I would tell myself I’ll use it for this or this. Enough is enough folks!
- Emotional attachment- We all have been saying it as we’ve read the last 2 points. It’s emotional. That is why we aren’t letting go. It’s why we convince ourselves to purchase things in the first place. We like that rush of endorphins. As for the ‘stuff’ at home we already have. There are so many excuses I can’t list them all. You know your reasons for holding on to things. I know mine; but it comes back to my husband, and now the baby, every time. A baby will get into everything. My husband can’t breathe, my child will create more stuff all over the place, causing my husband to not be able to breathe. Haha, vicious cycle. I’ll do what I can now.
I Think this whole article has been more about the pros of downsizing. I’m a little biased after having done it. Before this article would have read very differently. I’m going to throw in some easy pros for downsizing.
- No tripping over anything- this is really for those of you who have a lot of floor stuff. We’ve done it with our dog. He only has 3 toys a bed and blanket. One toy stays in our bed for when we are sleeping but he doesn’t want to sleep. Two toys for the rest of the house. It’s not like we didn’t give him more toys but these were the only 3 he will play with. So we got rid of everything else and have backups of his toys packed away for when his “current toy” is in, too bad of shape. I’m hoping this works with a child. We live in a small apartment, and space is tight so a ton of toys isn’t needed or wanted.
- Stops hoarding in its tracks- If you are keeping an eye on what you accumulate or just stop accumulating then you won’t be hoarding. Woohoo!
- Being able to breathe again- Ask my husband. Complete relaxation once a lot of things disappear.
- Keeps your home from looking dated- This is huge! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I noticed the farm taking over! My style is modern farmhouse Industrial. Not just farmhouse. I like a mix of woods and aged pieces paired with crisp clean lines and heavy wrought iron. All farm started to date my home, all aged pieces, while gorgeous, was taking my home more in a shabby chic direction! Constantly switch things up refresh and downsize and you avoid this big mess!
Finding your balance in Downsizing is great! You don’t have to think of it even as for your SO because it doesn’t have to be! My initial idea was to do it for my husband but I’m enjoying it just as much! With the farm scaled back, I am able to look and see what parts of my style aren’t being represented, and I see just how much the tech lifestyle is reflected for my husband. Enough about us though, how can it help you, you ask? I thought you would never ask!
- Yin & Yang can live in harmony- This one is pretty much about your SO. Even if your SO says they do not care about decor, they do subconsciously. Think about their personality, favorite color, past-time? My husband says he is only minimalist, but he loves tech. He works in the tech industry for crying out loud! Just knowing those things I’ve been able to enhance his home life. Think about your SO. Maybe they are just super tidy. Cleanliness equals happy for them. Put away some clutter then. Have a few candles or oil diffuser. Choose clean scents. Open the blinds, nothing says clean like a well-lit room, (Crazy neat point here, all those grainy selfies or photos of your beautiful place that just look bad in pictures is due to light! Open the curtains and blinds, let that amazing light shine on your gem of a place!). That’s just one easy example. You can decide how harmonious your life will be.
- Weigh out the options of those emotional attachments- The same thing I ask myself in the store I ask at home as well. We all know we still slip and have to adjust. My main problem is that I live in a small apartment. This isn’t an excuse. Half of my kitchen is boxed away in the garage. These I don’t consider an emotional attachment. Emotional attachment is the twice-broken bed tray that is in our guest room closet because I don’t want to part with it just yet. See I’m human too!
- Disclaimer- There are items that have true sentimental value. In no way am I saying get rid of those. I have my mother’s teacup in a cloche to put it on display and protect it. No, my mother didn’t drink tea, it was a gift from an uncle in Japan to her. I do however love tea and really it’s the only colorful teacup I have. Also be careful, I’m not trying to create any downsizing monsters here. Do so safely and responsibly.
So in closing, I’m not saying sell all your stuff! Be a Minimalist! I’m saying weigh out your home. You want to feel like you are coming home to a relaxing place. The amount of Downsizing will be different for every person. I just happened to marry a minimalist who doesn’t like all of my keepsakes. Good Luck!