Buying stuff feels good. In fact, shopping releases a lot of the same feel-good neurochemical (dopamine) into the brain as love, chocolate, and gambling. However, the high we get from dopamine doesn’t last long. In the end you are left with a bunch of junk and a feeling of dissatisfaction.
Owning more things ignites more stress than happiness. When you have lots of things, you have to invest more time into upkeep and repairs. A bigger house means you spend more in taxes, insurance, utilities, and more. Clutter distracts the mind and stalls creativity. We aren’t meant to buy every new thing that comes on the market. However, globalization and late capitalism have made it easy for consumerism to grow rampant. We end up owning way more than we need, and in turn the things we own end up owning us.
What is Downsizing?
Downsizing is a popular trend intended to be the antidote to our overly-consumerist lifestyles. It involves getting rid of unnecessary items and even relocating to a smaller home in an effort to simplify daily life, alleviate stress, and reduce expenses. In the past, downsizing was seen as a negative thing-- something we had to do when faced with a major life or financial change like losing a job. However, people from all walks of life-- from retirees to young homebuyers-- are considering downsizing nowadays.
Here’s why minimalist living makes sense to so many:
- A smaller home requires less upkeep, freeing up your time.
- Spending less on things frees up funds for experiences.
- Minimalism is good for the environment.
- Being more conscious with how you spend your money shows the market what is truly important to you as a consumer and citizen.
- People who own less are happier.
- A less cluttered home is more visually appealing.
- When you do buy, you can invest in higher quality goods.
- Getting rid of items helps release the past.
Tips for Downsizing
If you decide downsizing and approaching a minimalist lifestyle is right for you, it’s not necessary to go from zero to sixty overnight. Getting rid of excess junk can be a long, painstaking process that involves some difficult decision making. Taking it step-by-step and getting help when you need it can make the process more enjoyable.
When cleaning out your possessions, it can help to start by getting rid of big, clunky things you know you don’t need. Extra furniture you inherited from old roommates, excess kitchen appliances, and even old coats you never wear that are stuck in the back of the closet take up a lot of visual room. Getting rid of these things first will free up space so you are better able to see the little things that typically go unnoticed.
Cleaning out items with sentimental value can also be difficult. Remember: things are just that: things. Letting go of something doesn’t mean you are letting go of a relationship or memory-- it just means you are releasing a relic from the past to create room for a future you want. If you have difficulty getting rid of a particular item, try holding onto it, thanking it for its service, and putting it in a box out of sight and mind for a week. If you find yourself constantly mulling over its presence, just keep it. If you find yourself not missing it at all, it is time to let it go.
Finally, if you find the perfect place and decide a smaller home is right for you, make the process easier by hiring movers. Sure, having less stuff means you could probably carry more on your own, but after all the sorting, organizing, and discarding, the last thing you want to do is put more physical effort into this project. Plus, fitting movers into your budget can be quite affordable especially if you are staying within the area. The average price for intrastate moving services in the greater Austin area runs from $312 - $772 at most.
Downsizing allows people to live with less things so they are less stressed and have more time and funds to pursue the things that really matter to them. Getting rid of things can be difficult. Try eliminating bulky and unnecessary items before working on stuff that may have emotional value. Finally, when it is time to relocate, make it easier on yourself by hiring movers that can cut down on the stress of the job.
If you’re planning to move and rent out your home as a means of downsizing and reaping the benefits reach out to Peach Blossom Properties. Peach Blossom Properties is a property management firm that serves a variety of tenants in the Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander and Greater Austin Areas. The time to downsize is now -- so contact Peach Blossom Properties today!
Article provided by Gene Ramsey from DownsizingDad.com.