How much time does downsizing take? More than you think. Or maybe I’m that slow. Something I read told me to expect at least six months to get through it all. I remember that I laughed at that. Right. I’m at least two years in.
I began downsizing years ago. Clothes, toys, books. Slowly, slowly. It’s easy to get rid of the old stuff, the not-played-with stuff, the *meh* things. But let’s say you’re given one drawer. What clothes would you keep? Would you try to shove them ALL in? Or would you pick your very favorites? What about a kitchen cabinet? You know, “A”-as in ONE-kitchen cabinet? Would you keep all four sets of dishes and 34 drinking glasses?
My whole house feels like a ONE. One bathroom, one bedroom, one sofa, one cabinet. On one hand (ha–ONE hand), it is very liberating. Less stuff to clean, dust, maintain, repair, look at and trouble myself over. On the other hand, well…..it’s so hard to pare down! I admire (or, maybe, don’t believe) folks for whom decluttering is easy. Yeah, I get how easy it is. Like, “just” chip away the marble that isn’t the beautiful statue. Simple.
I’ve had some helpful people cheering me on and I’ve read some good things. Blogs abound with minimalist flavors such as http://bemorewithless.com/ and http://www.becomingminimalist.com/. I’m learning to keep my “favorite” things and let go of stuff that has “already fulfilled its purpose”. I’ve sold books on Amazon, furniture on Craig’s List, and stocked my local Goodwill. I even interviewed Bob and Erika Shupe for our next podcast. But I’m still not There yet.
How do I know this?
Because every time I walk into a room, or look at a bookcase, or cook in my kitchen, I just know. I don’t know how else to describe it. But it’s “not yet.”
One book I’ve enjoyed so far with regards to direction is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. I like the focus. First this, then that. So far, I’ve done “this”. Now I’m on to “that”. It feels good. I can ignore the “but this” and “what about those” and “how to do these” and instead just pay attention to the one chore, the one category. It’s helpful.
What am I chasing? In the words of Joshua Becker (Clutterfree with Kids):
“less clutter in my home
less stress in my life
more time for my family
more generosity in my spending
more energy for my passions
more contentment in my heart
more gratitude in my soul
and far more opportunity to pursue things of greater worth.”
Yes, yes, again yes. I am on a journey (is that word trademarked yet?) to a lighter, more meaningful life and I trust that I will someday look around and say, “This is it”. If I’m lucky, it might take me only six more months.