Downsizing: Taking the Plunge!

Editor’s note from Guest Blogger: Susan Finch

I’ve very recently, finally decided to downsize. As a decision-maker, I’m, well… I take a long time (years, in this case) to make a decision, but once I do, I usually dive headlong into making it happen. Once I have a plan, I have little patience for dilly-dallying, but the task can seem monumental. 

At this moment, I am surrounded by a mountainous pile of bags and boxes of important and not-so-important paper (not the least of which is school work, and drawings and paintings by my kids over the years). There are also bags and boxes of missing pieces to wooden puzzles, photos, Pokémon cards, CASH, random toys and games, far-too-many books, clothing, and an odd assortment of knick-knacks and miscellany from the childhoods of my parents, my children, and my own – all cleared from my shed in a blitz with the help of my long-time friend, Vicky, who was visiting from Colorado. 

Not a scene that conjures up feelings of relief, is it? The relief I feel is found in having started a process with my lovely friend, Ellen Lancaster, that, when finished, I can just imagine, almost taste, the sense of freedom, relief, and relaxation I will enjoy. This motivates me to keep on, keeping on. Well, that, and having spectacular friends like Ellen and Vicky who help and encourage me in such a gentle and nonjudgmental way. 

The aforementioned piles around me are the remainder of what started as 50 to 75 boxes of STUFF that was sitting, unused and unseen, in my shed that I built specifically to store “stuff” I didn’t have room for in my home – eleven years ago when I moved in. I have just a bit more to go, and so far, I have recycled ten grocery bags full of paper, donated twelve bags and some other household items to Goodwill, and thrown another ten, large garbage bags away.

The trick is, I think, to have a system in place to help keep you on track. I think for me, the key IS to have a cheerleader to keep nudging me to do “just one more box.” The work is tedious, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Having a friend or two to keep you on track can help immensely.

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