How to Conquer the Challenge of Downsizing

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If you’re like most of us, at some point you will face the prospect of downsizing.

Perhaps you want to move to a smaller house. Perhaps you want to move overseas or wander the country in an RV. Perhaps you just don’t want to leave a lifetime of stuff behind for your survivors to deal with.

In my case, I reached a point several years ago when I looked at all the stuff that fills our closets, our attic, and our garage, and I wondered, “Where did this crap all come from?”

retire bookIt seems that we spend the first half of our adult lives accumulating things (bigger homes, nicer cars, better furniture, more clothes, grown-up “toys”), and then we spend the rest of our life getting rid of it.

Although I’ve toyed with the idea of going through all my stored items and eliminating much of it, up to this point my good intentions haven’t led to much action. Throughout 2015, I’ve sold some CDs on Amazon, but that’s about it.

For some people, discarding obsolete possessions seems to come easily. For most of us, it takes a tangible event like an upcoming move to a smaller home to provide the sense of urgency required to downsize possessions.

Jeff and I have decided that we’re going to remain in our current house for at least five to ten more years, but we’re ready to start downsizing our possessions now. We’re serious this time. But we will only be successful if we really want to do it and stick to our goals.

I Can’t Help It – I Was Born This Way

I’ve always been a pack rat. It’s the way I was raised, regardless of whether or not my parents were aware that they were instilling this behavior pattern in me.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s, followed by the World War II years of the early 40s. They grew up with scarcity. They entered adulthood during a time when they needed to economize and save. Every cent was precious.

 

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