Some time ago, I became interested in the ever increasing movement of tiny houses. Does that mean I immediately went out bought a trailer and constructed a 96 sqft home? No, I don’t see myself ever living in a space that small. I am also convinced that for the most part that many individuals, couples, and families that choose to live in such a small space will not be able to sustain such a lifestyle long term. My personal housing thoughts are based off my very first apartment which was a mere 500 sqft. At the time it was huge. What young person has never dreamed of their own kitchen, living room, bedroom with attached bath. I even had the largest closet I have ever had in my three moves since.
My second apartment was a two bedroom duplex… the next place was three bedrooms…and now as home owners, my wife and I have a 1500sqft 2 bedroom brick home with a full basement. Do you see a trend? Progressively and progressively bigger. Each move requires more resources to move your stuff, followed by the need to purchase more stuff to fill the added space. Even though I have gotten rid of some, I still have boxes of stuff, still taped up from my original move.
Whether it is sentimentality or just being lazy and not getting rid of this stuff, I cannot figure out why I keep this stuff. This I think is generally the problem with increased housing space and the subsequent ffeeling of surrounding yourself with stuff. My wife and I have discussed at length the concept of smaller living and have started taking baby steps at changing our lifestyle to move in the right direction.
Step 1. Take a deep breath and realize this won’t happen overnight. As much as you want things to progress, patience is still a virtue.
Step 2. Stop buying stuff. I mean really, if you want to reduce what you have, quit adding more. Buy what you need and that’s all.
Step 3. Start small, clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen… yeah that one, you know you have it… liar. You know all the milk jug rings, bread bag clips, half burned candles, partial packs of gum, dead batteries, and the like. It’s there, just get it done.
Step 4. Take a day, a weekend, a week… check the drawer. Is there anything new in it? No, you you are ready to proceed. Yes?, try try again.
Step 5. Now that you can bring yourself to get rid of all that insignificant crap you were saving because you saw it on Pinterest, take on something with more meaning. Let’s hit your closet. This can be hard for us all… It’s easy to look at clothing and say “I spent good money on this!” We you actually spent good money on all of it. I am a creature of habit and I wear the same clothes week in and week out. I have a favorite shirt for going out with the wife, and a favorite pair of pants to work in my woodshop. I’m not saying get rid of it all or cull it down to the 33 item list that is all the rage now. Just start with clothes that are too small or too big.
Step 6. Rinse and repeat with all your belongings until you have paired them down to essentials.
Can it be just that easy? Well it is as easy as you make it. The goal here as it is when you move on to other things is to cull your belingings to just what you need, things you can make immediate use for, and the stuff you use for active hobbies. Sure, reducing your belongs to one bag works for the twenty somethings, but my nice cookwear will not fit in a backpack.
Am I done with this process, far from it. Hell, I’m not done with my closet yet. I kinda took a break from that and moved on to my night stand. Speaking of which alludes to the next topic, furniture.
Note: I am not a psychotherapist nor am I a qualified decluttering expert, but I know what is working for me, and if just by putting those concepts in writing helps me reinforce what I’m doing, so beit.