This month, with the grace of the housing Gods, and if things do not implode ala the Dow Jones (anyone else freaking out about that? I’m freaking out about that.) I will be a home owner. Solo. As in my first very own home that is just mine (well, plus my kids). This is something I have never done before. I have always had a roommate/fiancé/spouse in the past. I am very excited to do lots of things with this home, and will probably share them here, and definitely over on Instagram.
Moving means downsizing. I currently live in the house purchased while I was married (3,300 square feet). It’s too much for me in upkeep and there are rooms no one even goes in. My new house is a condo at 1,800 square feet. There are things that are easy to downsize, furniture for example. It doesn’t have a room or space, out it goes to donations or to Craigslist. But what about the rest of the Stuff That Clutters Up Life? I have three big under bed type storage bins of fabric. I used to sew sometimes. I might again if I ever have any downtime (as a full time student taking 3-4 classes per term even over summer, that puts ‘free time’ landing in fall of 2022-23 if I decide to get my masters?)
The decision needs to be made in the next month what is moved and what goes to the charity shop. This is difficult. We all like stuff. Most of us have LOTS of stuff if we are honest, far more than we actually use or need. I started this journey towards less Stuff four years ago. I read about capsule wardrobes on Project 333. The idea, as most people know, is to limit themselves to a certain number of clothes every season (you can apply this to anything in life). To only wear and use those items. I did do that for awhile. But as time went on I felt myself slipping back into the ‘more stuff’. Now I have a more all-round closet because Seattle can mean sweaters in July sometimes. It’s simply easier to keep everything but the super summer clothes out and available (hello shorts I rarely wear languishing in a drawer next to that polka dot bikini).
Moving to a smaller space is going to be good in lots of ways. Smaller footprint means less to clean, less to heat, less to clutter up (and I’m pretty minimalist in décor, the majority of my decorative bookshelves have actual books on them and a few photos. Everything need to have a purpose.) As I continue to sort through things closet by closet, I find myself being happier the bigger the giveaway pile gets. It’s very freeing to look at something and say that it has no purpose in my life and should go to someone else. (I’m not a Marie Kondo follower. I tried to read her book years ago, I never made it through the whole thing.) I see how many things I’ve kept because it cost xx amount of money or I might use it ‘someday’, and it sits cluttering up a space and taking up room.
There are two big incentives to get this done.
One: all this stuff has to fit somewhere in the new house. There are only two big closets (besides bedroom closets). It’s not all going to fit.
Two: Every item has to be packed and moved. Every item that is packed and moved has to be paid to be packed and moved. I might as well shave a few dollars off my moving bill by having less Stuff!
As I posted about in my last post, I want to go Tiny in four and a half years (or at least into something 1,000 square feet or less). This downsizing is a step along the way. Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a book I’ve really enjoyed. It’s not about less physical stuff, but it’s about only doing things that have meaning to you, making choices to say no. We can all use some help in that area. I’ve listened to the audiobook and have the paperback book. I found the ideas in it that compelling. I also became pretty taken with this phrase from the book.
Weniger aber besser.
(Less but better, by Dieter Rams.)
Less but better. I’m looking forward to it.