Friday, April 17, 2015

The 10 Commandments of Downsizing

We are counting down the days...one week until we close on our house and move all our belongings into our 40 foot long “Wildebeest” to start RVentures!

I think about all that we have gotten rid of in the last year...and how little we truly miss.  I have been asked by many people, “How did you do it?” "How do you part with a lifetime of precious belongings?" It’s not easy, but it helped to keep in mind Doug's motto for us:

We are going to collect memories and experiences, not possessions!
Look at your bucket list...Does it say “buy this?” or does it say “do this?”

Because ours is saying "do this", we had to get rid of many of the possessions that we have collected through the years. And we accomplished this with our...

10 Commandments of Downsizing

Should everyone downsize as we did? Could you decrease your wardrobe to the degree that Doug did in one hour?

Or sell all your excess kitchen items in one day?

I don't recommend doing it as quickly or drastically as we did, but it is good to start...and here is our tips for how to begin.

Commandment #1: Get rid of it if you haven’t touched it in a year. You should love and use what you have or lose it.
Go into your closet or cabinets and take out everything that you haven't worn or used for a year or more. Put the items in a box and donate it or sell it in a garage sale. Or, if you want to downsize the SLOW WAY, put the box in a spare room and if the items are still in the box untouched next year at this time...out it goes.

Commandment #2: Look at all you have - do you need 15 Christmas hand towels...or 25 fancy tea cups....or 4 different types of bikes? Nope, just one SWEET bike and a SWEET biking partner will do!

Stop bargain shopping - just buy what you need. In order to prepare for our year of downsizing, I tried to not buy any new clothes...even if they were on sale...for a whole year. Guess what? I didn't feel like I lacked anything...and actually gained more free time to do important things...like biking to Sebastian Joe's for the BEST ice cream around!

Commandment #4: Start small - Open that junk drawer...or hutch. Choose one small area to clear out at a time and clear it out! WARNING: this downsizing gig is about to get really hard!

Commandment #5: Look to the future - Is there someone who you would like to give that special Hummel or book to? Let them enjoy it NOW...and you will enjoy knowing that your precious collectible is going to be much loved!

Commandment #6:  Sort through it now....are you thinking that your children will want their kindergarten art in 30 or 40 years...sorry, but they won't. The next time they are home, bring out that box of art, look at it together, share memories and laughter, and capture the moment with photos.

Commandment #7: Replace rather than increase - Moving into an RV has helped me to REALLY THINK before I buy. New pair of shoes? How many pairs can I get rid of? I recently bought a pair of sandals for 50% off, and those sandals will replace four pairs of shoes. I will still have more shoes in the RV than Doug thinks I should have, but the important thing to remember is that you should always surround your shoes with friends!

Commandment #8: Don’t let consumption consume you - Yes, I LOVED my comfy furniture...But with our boys gone, we use it less and less. so as we sold off items, I found that I really didn't miss the furniture...sitting on make-shift chairs while laughing with family is still a magical moment!

Commandment #9: Omit Needless Things - like your English teacher tried to stress...are all those words...and all those possessions needed? All we really need is time enjoyed with family and friends...and a good manicure!

Commandment #10: Less is More - enjoy the items in you house...and get rid of the things that you don't enjoy...like tacky old wallpaper :-) 

So there you have it...sounds easy, right? We look forward to hearing how this goes for you.

Be forewarned: It will be tough at first, but you will experience a new and exhilarating feeling of freedom as you get rid of the unneeded and unused items that are bogging you down and...
start collecting memories and experiences that can last a lifetime!

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