Okay, Hoarder may be extreme but I have been collecting stuff my whole adult life and I am as old as dirt. I have to admit that most of it is useful stuff but at what point does useful stuff become too much stuff?
Some things are easier to downsize and minimize. For example my clothing. I have been getting rid of anything I haven’t worn in the last year. Then I went through it again and based it on how many of each item do I actually need. Fairly easy right? The first two rounds were easy but this last time was more difficult. I like everything that’s left but there is just not enough room in Gerdie (my motorhome) for all of it. Then came the modelling of all that’s left and having my daughter say yeh or neh to them. That was a huge help and to be honest I did end up keeping some of her neh’s. At least until the next round.
Now for the shoes. I had no idea I had so many until I pulled them all out last week. I met a homeless woman and guess what she was my shoe size so that got me into the deepest darkest areas of my closet to pull out shoes and boots for her. 47 pairs of boots and shoes. Not very minimalist at all. To my own defense a lot of them had heels and since my accident 5 years ago I haven’t been able to wear anything but flats. In the beginning I kept them hoping I would someday be able to use them but have recently come out of denial and realized that those days are gone forever so there is no need to hang onto them any longer. So I sorted through all my shoes and boots, some of them never worn and gave them all to someone that could use them. Out of the 47 pairs I still have 13 so at some point between now and when I move into the RV I will have to downsize once more but it was a great start. If I am honest with myself I have one or two pairs that I wear regularly and the rest are just fluff.
Surprisingly the kitchen was the easiest for me. One small pot, one bigger pot, a frying pan a small cookie sheet, 2 mugs and a lid. A set of 4 of the dishes and glasses. I did keep the blender and a small crock pot but all the other extras are gone. Oh and a kettle. I basically left about as much as I had when I moved into my first apartment. All my spices are going in mason jars that I can screw to the bottom of the counter for easy access. I believe the hardest part of the kitchen downsizing was to stop buying in bulk but buy only enough for a few days. I have to avoid those great specials and just buy what I actually need now.
I have no trouble getting rid of furniture but what do I do with Christmas decorations, or my craft and sewing room? Here is where I have trouble downsizing. I have collected material for years when it was on sale and I loved it. Guess what, I still love most of it. I have all my jewelry supplies and paints, my canvas’s and paper. The list goes on and on. I have been sorting through it but I have to admit it is hard. I have a ton of tools and my sewing machine. As these are the things I will be using regularly I can’t figure out how to downsize it all. It may end up being down to the last minute when I am loading the RV when I have to purge some of it. I have gone through it all twice now and parted with only very few things. I have to keep in mind that it is all just things and that I can live without things. For some reason that doesn’t seem to work in this room. I will have to let you know how it goes when it gets closer to the move in date. Any ideas please let me know. Mid July is the deadline to be on the road. Wish me luck.
I used to collect books, I love to read. Recently I have been going through all my books and only keeping the ones that will be useful. I used to have 2 full book shelf units but I am down to one and a half shelves in one of them. I will go through them one more time and hopefully get it down to one shelf at most. For new books in the future I will get them in eBook form whenever possible and if not then I will read them and give them away after. I have to keep the mind frame that if something gets added then something else has to go.
The bottom line is that every time I get rid of stuff I feel freer. I can taste the open road and the freedom to take with me everything I need. It is not an easy process but if I can do it then anyone can. Take it one room at a time and give yourself enough time to go through things several times. Like my craft room, some things will be harder to part with then others. Just keep in mind and choose based on need not want. I do consider hobbies or a potential way to earn a living as a need. How will each item you keep benefit you. Does the item serve a double purpose? Can it be used for several things? Will you use it every week if not every day? How big is your RV or van? Consider your storage area and keep that in mind when you start your downsizing. Visualize where it will go and how it will be used. Even if you are not moving to a mobile lifestyle you can benefit from minimizing your stuff. The less clutter you have the better you feel. The happier you will be. Contemplate new purchases and only buy what you need. Avoid impulse purchases of things just because they are on sale. I have a niece that keeps her credit card in a block of ice in the freezer just for this reason. If she has to go home and thaw it out to get the item she most times talks herself out of the purchase before the ice is melted. It then becomes too much work for something she probably didn’t need anyway.
Now for me to sign off and head to the basement dungeon to see what has been hiding there for the last several years unmissed.
I hope this has been helpful to you is some small way.