Downsizing - like it or loathe it?
Published 24 February 2019
Depending on your personality type, the term ‘downsizing’ will either see your appetite whetted for a good clear out, or make you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of having to part with literally anything!
With children now at/through Uni, we are now officially ‘empty-nesters’, and recently downsized after 20 years in a rambling old farmhouse, into a tall city townhouse. I now know that I am the type who embraces the black bin liner challenge (keeping Norfolk’s many charity shops well stocked). My husband, on the other hand…
Faced with the prospect of downsizing, some people view a property, fall in love with it, declare it ‘perfect’ for their needs - and then wistfully declare ‘but I can’t buy it, I could never get my grandmother’s sideboard in the dining room’. Why would anyone let a piece of furniture dictate where they live?
Personally, I am sentimental for people, feelings and memories, but not so much for things, possessions, and stuff – although I do get that for some objects are of great sentiment and comfort.
To make the process of letting things go less stressful, first focus on where you want to be living, rather than fretting over what you feel you may not be able to bring with you. Then when you find a home that you will be happy living in, it is easier to part with items of sentimental value that wouldn’t work – or fit - in the new place.
The upside of living is a smaller space is about more than just cost-saving or cash liberation – it may also give you more free time (less cleaning and gardening), and focus the mind on the things you really want around you in your new home.
As William Morris said, ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ If it’s beautiful to you, that’s enough.
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