My parents are in their downsizing phase of life…ready to move from a 5000 square foot home to a 2000 square foot townhouse.
Less house = less work = a simpler life.
Of course, there’s more to downsizing than just buying a smaller house. Cutting square footage by more than half requires a serious paring down of belongings. As my mom goes through boxes in the basement, I receive emails with questions like, “do you want your old Monopoly game” or “what about your 7th grade batik art project?” My answer? “NO!” These things have been sitting in boxes for over 30 years…I think I can live without them.
Why wait until you’re nearly 80 to downsize? Most of us could downsize our lives NOW! You don’t have to go to the extreme and sell your house, but there are steps you can take to simplify your life.
Tackle Your Storage
Humans seem to grow to their environments. If you have a huge home with tons of storage space…you’ll save everything. Those of us with historic homes and minimal storage tend to not accumulate quite as much. It’s time to go through the boxes in your storage unit, attic, basement and closets. If you haven’t needed the item or thought about it in years…it’s time to let someone else enjoy it. Make 4 piles: trash, recycle, donate, sell. If you need ideas for places to sell your unwanted items read my article “Clean Out, Make Money.” By the way, you only need to keep your tax returns for 7 years, not forever!
Learn to Say “NO”
Fewer commitments = less stress and more free time. When’s the last time you sat on your porch and read a book? Before you sign up to be the team mom or to join another PTO committee…ask yourself if you truly have the time and the desire. Everyone needs a little “me” time for sanity’s sake.
Reduce Your Bills
Are you working an extra job to cover your expenses? Are those 60+ hour work weeks really worth it? Maybe it’s time to take a serious look at your expenses. Maybe you’d rather live without cable TV, so you could spend more time with your family. Go bill by bill and call each provider to see if they have suggestions for reducing your bill. Maybe your cell phone provider has a less expensive plan, or maybe it’s time to shop around for auto insurance.
Downsize your life, simplify your life, enjoy life.
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