Downsize

1 07 2017

A year ago today my wife and I unloaded a 16’ Uhaul truck and moved into our new apartment, 455 miles from our little lakeside village in northern New York where we made our home.  In prepping for the move, we got rid of a lot of stuff.  Sold nearly all our bedroom and living room furniture in New York in anticipation of buying new furniture once settled in Michigan, which we did.

There is something marvelously freeing about divesting yourself of stuff.  We got rid of a lot of things—books, knick-knacks, odds and ends, etc. before our move.  It was a relief.  There is so much we are sure we have to have.  Once parted from them, we learn that traveling and living lighter is easier than we’d imagined.

Today, we are again downsizing.  Our small apartment is crammed with stuff we’ve not seen in the past year.  So, it’s time again to enrich the local thrift store.

There is something to be said for the Zen concept of minimalism.  We are not the things we possess, though often they possess us.  Letting go of clutter, even if sentiment and nostalgia is attached, is, we have found, more satisfying than holding on to things to be enjoyed briefly from time to time.

Questions:

  • Have you ever thought about the reality of holding on to all sorts of things and what burden it may put upon your loved ones, who have to sort, toss, donate or take home, once you’ve passed?
  • Do you know that often we enjoy fewer things more simply because we have less options at our disposal, causing us at least the anxiety of having to choose what we give attention to?
  • Could it be that some of your stuff might be a real help to someone else, taking on a sort of second life of their own?

Suggested Resources:

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life (Francine Jay)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Marie Kondō)

 

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4 responses

1 07 2017
David Kanigan

Michigan! Upper or lower?

1 07 2017
Christian Fahey

Lower, David. I grew up north of Detroit and we are in the suburbs. Clarkston and close to my parents and sibs. It’s been a good year!

2 07 2017
Julie

Saw you guys walk thru this and the limits of your new abode! That you are decluttering again is interesting!

I appreciated what you said about our stuff being a burden on our lived ones! That motivates me! I laugh at the comment from your beloved about tossing irrelevant photos I’ve held onto that need to go…”the photo police will never know!”

Thanks for the post! I have Marie Kondo’s book and have done it—time to go deeper!

2 07 2017
Christian Fahey

Thanks for reading Julie!

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