In the throes of rampid consumerism where every scrap of our online data is used to focus targeted ads upon us and entice us into just one more purchase, comes a breath of fresh air. LESS IS MORE. Tiny houses and downsizing are strong and growing trends that show many of us have had enough…all that stuff isn’t making for a better life, in fact it complicates our lives and clutters our minds such that we lose track of what really does matter. When the “less is more” approach is overlaid on Active Adults that are looking to get out from under that large house full of things they needed to raise a family, a simpler life seems even more liberating. Realtor.com just published a great article on 6 common mistakes made in the transition to a simpler life and how to avoid them.
In a nut shell…
- Waiting too long to downsize: We often wait too long to downsize, illness or the death of a spouse are common reasons for downsizing. Then instead of enjoying a new and simpler phase of life together while we have our energy and strength to enjoy it, we are making the change while grieving or living in poor health. Don’t rush into it, but plan ahead and give yourself a full six months to prepare for the change.
- Giving your kids too long a leash: Your kids will probably be happy to grab some of your furniture or mementos, but don’t fall into the “someday soon” trap. Define a date when they need to pick up any items they want to keep, otherwise those items might just end up in the truck with you enroute to your new home.
- Taking on the whole house at once: It is too much to take on all at once. Instead, start with the yard tools and kitchen 1st, these are the areas with the greatest reductions.
- Tossing all your possessions in the trash: This is a guilt ridden approach. Instead invite friends and neighbors over to take a few items. Then schedule a pickup from a local charity organization like Habitat for Humanity. You can also claim a tax deduction for your donated items.
- Assuming your furniture will fit in your new home: Measure each room in your new home and make a floor plan if one is not available. Planner 5d, Roomstyler 3D Planner, and HomeByMe are all free online tools that will let you make the floor plan and place your furniture in it to visualize how it will look.
- Focusing on how you are losing all your stuff: Sometimes memories are attached to certain items so it is hard to let them go. Take photos of items that are hard to leave, you can save the space and still take a walk down memory lane!