Downsizing is a popular topic in the world of senior living—a move to a retirement community often involves sorting through decades of belongings and preparing to transition to a smaller space. There are countless consultants and organizations available to help older adults prepare for this overwhelming task.
But lately the downsizing trend is not limited only to those who are preparing for a major life change like a move to a retirement community. Simplified living has become a way of life for people of all ages. Removing unnecessary belongings can help relieve stress, cut down on cleaning, and allow for more time to focus on life experiences rather than tending to belongings.
In 2014, Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo released The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which quickly became a bestseller in a society that has become obsessed with “stuff.” In her book, Marie shares how to joyfully declutter your home and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Her purposeful approach to simple living promotes happiness and creating an intentional home space.
This trend shows us that we don’t have to wait for a major life transition to start the downsizing process. Eliminating clutter and being mindful of what we bring into our home can provide benefits for anyone.
The tips below can help you get started whether you’re looking to simplify certain areas or prepare for a big move.
- Limit the amount of space you’re willing to give certain items. Only allowing yourself to keep enough books to fit on a bookshelf can make it easier to determine which ones are most important to you.
- Keep additional clutter from entering your space. Opt out of catalogs, subscribe to paperless billing, and consider the usefulness of freebies and giveaway items before accepting them.
- Follow the one-year rule. If you haven’t used something in the last year (or two), especially clothing, it’s unlikely that you will use it again at all.
- Save digitally. If something holds sentimental value to you, take a photo of it to keep forever. Similarly, take time to digitize old photos and videos to free up physical storage space and keep your memories intact online.
Simplifying over time can help make a move all the more easier when the time comes. Create intention in your home!