Two of my biggest tallents in life are:
So to say that I love my things would be a tad of an understatement – Not to be confused with the term “hoarder” because I’m not THAT bad… But I do enjoy my piles, closets of random items and bins full of things that I “need” tucked away.
Once we officially made the decision to move to the US we knew we would need to downsize our life in a pretty major way. We were moving from a 3 bedroom home with a garage and a shed and a backyard and tons of storage to an apartment. Justin and I set up a goal to only bring our truck and one small trailer to California so we needed to rid ourselves of about 75% of our possessions. That’s a LOT of stuff.
I really, really struggles with the thought of this at first. I LOVE my house, my things, my clothes. Why did I have to give them up? Why did I have to give them up? They made me happy. It was while chatting with a girlfriend while out shopping that I NEEDED to do this, not just because we were moving but for my own personal growth. Things were no longer going to define my happiness – I started to resent the area of life we were in where our focus was so often on what car we were going to buy next, or when we get a bigger house, or a new piece of furniture etc. Our move to the states was the perfect opportunity to physically and mentally cleanse our lives of so much materialism that we were focusing on. This was really my inspiration behind starting Little Life of Purpose. We are committing to a more minimalistic lifestyle for the next few years and I wanted to document what it was really like.
Most weeks, I’ve spent about 10-15 hours per week tackling this project, but before I started physically getting rid of things I spent many hours planning it out. Planning out how to do this in an organized way so that our whole home life wasn’t shown into chaos during the months preparing for our move. The plan I came up with actually ended up working out quite well so I thought I would share the process. 🙂
When Justin and I were in our early married days and I would want to buy something, he would ask me if I actually Needed it with a Capital N. So every time I was tempted to make unnecessary purchases in the last few months I would say that to myself and it helped a lot. And if your really wanting to downsize,I mean QUIT SHOPPING, not just cutting back.
It’s really intimidating to walk into a messy room and start decluttering. If things are already a mess and your pulling things out and making piles and making a mess and then it’s just a disaster. So the first step I took whenI started physically downsizing was to organize the crap out of my house. Put everything in it’s place and have the home as clean as you can.
Selling things online is a lot of work. Getting through all the messages, arranging times for people to pick up, getting all the items cleaned up etc. It’s frustrating and takes way more time than you think. So I started with this, I sold all the furniture in our home that wasn’t actively being used purposefully. Shelves, extra dressers, desks, and end tables. Next I just started selling anything of significant value.
Once I sold anything I could make any money off of I started grouping things to donate by categories: towels, blankets, pillows, bedding, clothing, kitchen items etc. For example, one day I gathered up every towel in the whole house, clean or dirty and put them in a pile and sorted out what we were taking and what we weren’t. If we weren’t taking it it was out in the donation pile. Once I was done one complete category I moved onto the next.
Family or Friends in need, Goodwill donation centres, community group homes, or women’s shelters OFTEN need the things that you are getting rid of. Yes, thrift stores are easy but if you can make a difference to a friend or a community your going to feel so much more fulfilled and numb the sting of giving away something you love but don’t need.
As mentioned above, I really committed to keeping my home in some sort of order while we taking on this project so one way that I made that work was to do one day of purging and then the next day I would drop off, get rid of, or pack the items I sorted the day prior.
That’s it! That’s my system! It can be done for anyone who’s feeling weighed down by clutter, it feels amazing. Trust me, Try it.