Downsizing is All About Saying “Yes!”

By  •  4 years ago  •  Downsizing

Over the years, we accumulate a lot of stuff. Since we live in a consumer-oriented society, this is probably inevitable. We buy homes and decorate them with furniture. Clothing is a constant source of amusement and distraction as we adjust our style to the latest trends. Then, in our 60s, we suddenly start to think about downsizing.

Many of us want to reduce the clutter in our lives, but, there are too many emotions involved. Items that were bought for a specific purpose tend to take on emotional meaning. It feels like throwing out an item means letting go of the memories and associations attached to it. Personally, I carried around boxes filled with my children’s school projects for years, before finally digitizing them and throwing away the originals. Best. Decision. Ever.

Saying Yes to Less

Over the last ten years, “letting go” has been my personal mantra. As I gradually decreased the number of items in my life to 200, I realized something important. Downsizing is not about saying no. It is not about ruthlessly cutting ties to our past. It is about saying yes. It is about creating space in our lives for the people, places and items that we love.

Downsizing is about saying no to the things that don’t matter so that we can say yes to the things that do.

Three Items

A few days ago, the fire alarm went off in my building and I found myself looking around for a few things to grab. Fortunately, it was a false alarm. The smart thing would have been to take nothing at all! Setting that aside, it made me think about what really is most important in my life. Other than my family, who live across the globe, what do I care about most? If there really was a fire, what 3 items would I take?

I’m curious what you think about this. To get the conversation started, here are a few questions.

Have you downsized your life after 60? Have you moved into a smaller house or reduced the number of items in your world? What was your experience? If you had to leave the house in an emergency and could only take 3 items with you, what would you choose and why? Please join the conversation.

This article was originally published on Sixty and Me. 

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