Keeping up with the Joneses is a saying seemingly as old as time, and there’s definitely still a place for that kind of materialism in today’s culture. There’s a small but growing subset of people, though, who are getting turned on to a more minimalistic lifestyles and keeping their expenses more manageable.
Why Be Minimalistic and Downsize?
In a “who would have thought?” kind of way, owning less actually results in spending less money – e.g., less money on gas in the case of someone who flips their car, pockets the money and takes two good legs to work.
Other people embrace minimalism and downsizing because it puts less strain on the environment and allows everybody to focus on what really matters in life.
And in an East meets West sort of way, downsizing might even increase the feng shui in your home and create less reasons to worry. One expression you hear a lot is that you start by owning your possessions and, then, those same possessions start to own you…scary.
Just looking around the room reveals the truth behind this saying for millions, if not billions, of people right now. The less you own the more your mind can be at ease to explore what really drives you without all the clutter.
Moving Out and Moving On
Downsizing, though, might also refer to choosing to wind down your affairs and set up shop in a new area by moving from a home that offers you more space than you can reasonably handle (or pay for) in favor of more manageable accommodations.
This is actually a really popular option among empty nesters cruising into their golden years and looking to exchange a home with bedrooms for all the kids for a nice condo in Florida or Arizona. Going that route can give you a clearer mind, a fresh perspective and – one thing’s for sure – a fatter wallet with more money to spare!
One way that a lot of empty nesters are finding keeps their clutter to a minimum – although, be forewarned, it involves maybe picking up a technology that post-dates the Reagan administration – is through putting all of your memories on flash drives and DVDs as opposed to bulky VHS tapes or reams of photograph albums.
It can be nice to have one or two painting or family portraits, but too many can put a damper on being able to get up and go. That applies doubly to empty nesters – or really anybody wanting more freedom in their lives – who are on the road and perhaps even RVing across this great country of ours.
Downsizing gives you the freedom, autonomy and stressless foundation on which to write new memories into your life’s photo album. It’d be a shame if the things that are supposed to make you happy (possessions) get in the way of your ability to enjoy life, spend time with those you love and move wherever the mood takes you.
How to Actually Downsize
The first thing that you want to do if you’re starting to take the idea of downsizing your cache of possessions or moving into a smaller home is plan it out. If you’re moving into a smaller home then make sure that you have a moving company to help move the essentials and a junk haul company to take the rest off of your hands. The essentials should include a full set of kitchen utensils, plates and a few cups, for example, but avoid duplicates where you can while making sure that there’s always a shirt on your back!