Deciding to Downsize

This post is about some of the decisions I made that inspired me to cut back on some of the things I had. It's a follow-up to this post about downsizing.

One of matters that got me thinking came in an episode of Tiny House Nation. One of the houses built was for a couple that lost their home in Colorado to a wildfire a few years back. The wife was the only one home at the time. The wildfire grew suddenly, and she had only a minute or so to evacuate. She talked about how hard it was to decide that fast what to save and what to abandon.

I can sympathize with those feelings. As some of you know, I lost almost everything I had at the time in the 1991 Andover tornado. My more recent downsizing hasn't been motivated by a fear of that happening to me again. But the episode did remind me how important it can be to look at your possessions and ask, "What would I really miss if I lost everything?"

That question led me to consider what I'd been keeping of late. As I said before, I found I still had letters from people I hadn't heard from in years, along with other bits and pieces that didn't seem to matter as much now as they had once. I felt some regret at throwing those things out. But I also felt good about discovering what I chose to keep. Some good parts of my life that I'd forgotten about came back to me, if just for a little while.

There's also the issue of physical space. For a long time it bothered me that I had stuff scattered over the house. For a time my books were in my office, then in big bookshelves in the basement. Now I have a handful of physical books in the office, and ebooks on my devices. Some of my personal belongings were in my room, while others were in the basement as well. I'd managed to get most of that stuff moved into my room. Now all of that fits in plastic boxes in my bedroom closet. Instead of being scattered around the house, everything I own is either in my bedroom, my office, or in the living room. I won't have to struggle to find where something is anymore.

Here's a more specific instance of dealing with the physical space objects can take up. I've saved all the badges from all the train shows, cons, and other events I've been to. I had no desire to get rid of any of them. However, I noticed that many of the badges were still in their plastic holders. Ditching as many of the holders as was possible meant that they no longer needed their own box, but could share space with other items. That simple choice gave me more space to work with.

If you're considering downsizing your possessions, I suggest you ask yourself these questions. First, what do you own that you'd miss if it was gone? What are you still hanging onto that isn't important to you anymore? How can you maximize your storage space through simple choices? Your answers to those questions should help you through the process.

If you're trying it, post somewhere how it goes, and good luck to you in downsizing your life!

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