Downsizing - it's the "stuff" that will get you

There comes a time in every person's life when they begin to think lovingly about the "care free lifestyle" too be found in an apartment or condo. That would be the life - no grass to mow, no gutters to clear, no driveway to clear in the winter. Life would be grand!

However, when downsizing, the most important thing to remember is that you actually have to get rid of things. BOOM! Who knew? Trust me on this, a four bedroom house with attached garage and basement family room, all filled with stuff, will not fir into a two bedroom apartment or condo regardless of how good of a packer you are. I just doesn't work. I have seen it tried several times with zero success.

There is a new life style that is becoming popular with many people young and old: minimalist living. You too can become a minimalist. A good way to approach this new lifestyle is to sell, give away or donate all the stuff you possibly can. Then get rid of that much again.That is a good start and you are well on your way to becoming a minimalist.

Another great way to get rid stuff is to give it to your children. Don't pay any attention when they say they don't want it. Sometimes it's best just to leave it on their front step and leave. This is not about them and besides haven't they done the same thing to you on several occasions?  That's part of the reason you have so much stuff.

Full disclosure - my single biggest vice is books. I have many bookshelves filled with books and hundreds more stacked around that I haven't even read yet. I'm told there is a big building downtown, filled with books, called a library. They even store the books for you! I've recently renewed my library card and plan on visiting this magical place to borrow books instead of buying more.

God love my wife as she rarely complains about my bibliophilistic ways. However, it may be because she has her little vices too. She is a crafter specializing in scrap booking, cross stitching and collecting material for sewing. She has enough material to qualify as a backup warehouse for Fabricville.  So these will be a couple of the pinch points when we decide to downsize in a few years. We both have to work on getting rid of stuff.

I'm telling you this because we are starting to get rid of things several years in advance before we actually have to move and this is the key to all of this. Slowly start to get rid of stuff before you have to. Besides your children, there are several charities that accept gently used clothing, furniture, etc. When you have the time to do it, much of your excess stuff can be repurposed.

If you are thinking it's time to get your home ready for sale, contact one of our Century 21 professionals. They can give you valuable tips to help you get started and do a market analysis on your home to ensure you get the maximum amount for your home in today's market.

Remember you are now a minimalist and your kids have a big front step.

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Paul Burns

Paul Burns

CENTURY 21 A & T Countryside Realty Inc.
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