I will be turning 60 this year and although I am not ready to retire, it may be time to downsize. Many of the things in my home have surpassed any usefulness, but slap me in the face whenever I see them and know I no longer have a use for them. Red patent leather roller skates, skis, a wet suit, aging furniture which no longer has a place all take up space without delivering the function they once did. A computer tower, TV cabinet, fine china and several closets full of bedding enjoy space that could be used for better things. All have a place in my heart and history, but now look lost, forlorn and useless, at least to me.
I started decluttering/downsizing everything we owned several years ago, more through necessity than desire. I was moving to a smaller home and did not have the room to store it all. I gave many items to my and donated more items. It is always hard to let something go that has been in the family for generations, but there comes a time when possessions can take over and become more a hindrance than a help.
I keep a donation bag handy all the time and when it is full, it goes to the car to be dropped off. My advice on this is, that once in the bag, never look back. A box for each of my children sits ready for their next visit. If they don’t want it and take it with them, out it goes. Anything dog-eared and worn goes in the trash or rag bag.
I am discovering that I like the clean and spacious home without having things to put away, clean, dust and repair. Fumio Sasaki, a Japanese minimalist blogger and write says, in his blog Minimal & Ism “I think many people have learned that gathering things does not make you happy,” Sasaki says. “The older generation experienced the bubble economy, which praised material abundance, but our generation didn’t. You can feel more liberated by having fewer things around you.”
I am not an advocate of stark cold interiors, rather spaces with useful and beautiful items which function properly. Purge gently and often. Limit new purchases to necessities and try, as hard as it is to throw out two things for every one that comes in.