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Downsizing by more than half!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I read Organized Simplicity a couple years ago and have been slowly decluttering and minimizing since then. It was such a lightbulb moment for me. It was like a switch was flipped. I looked around and thought, "Oh. my. goodness. Why do I even HAVE all this stuff?!" I looked around and saw junk that we had moved TWICE and it was still just hanging around in boxes and it had honestly never occurred to before to just get rid of it.


So over the last two years I have gone through stuff and donated carload after carload to Goodwill (donated about 10 Volvo wagon loads in 2012/2013) and even had a FREE garage sale to get stuff gone. It felt great, but there was still a lot of stuff around... Stuff I thought I honestly needed.


Fast forward and we are selling our current house which is 2,000 sqft, three bed, living room AND family room AND full size den/playroom and two car garage. WAY too much space for our family of three. We are moving to a more desirable neighborhood and we want to downsize our finances, too, so we are buying a condo that is 950 sq ft : two bed one bath, open living area with a 15x20 living/dining open concept. I am SO excited! I can't wait to say that we fit ourselves and our stuff in a two bed condo! 


So, I feel like there has been a shift. I'm no longer getting rid of stuff because it's just this useless junk I've lugged around - I am now getting rid of things that I once felt were useful and needed. But now that I have to downsize so much, I am trying to think how things can be multi purpose. 


Example: In current house I have a craft room in the den. It consisted of

a full size desk with hutch for the sewing machines and storage of patterns, notions, books, etc.

cutting table with olfa mat

expedit bookshelf with boxes of misc craft supplies (jewelry making, knitting, doll making, clay stuff, painting, drawing, etc - a box for each craft)

two plastic bin drawer things of fabric

two cardboard boxes of fabric


That is SO much stuff! 


Meanwhile, in the office I have a large antique teachers desk (a lot like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/572520171350212779/) that has my desktop computer and all of my office supplies in it (which I have already gone through). In the new condo we will be putting a desk shelf in the second bedroom closet for the office (so we can close the closet doors and keep the media out of sight when we want) and so my desk will be free for another use! I will be using it as both my cutting surface and where I will sit to sew and whatnot. 


So I got rid of:

the sewing desk

the cutting table

the bookshelf


I also got rid of a bunch of the craft stuff I wasn't using. The emotional rent on hanging on to a jewelry making kit when I don't even wear jewelry wasn't worth it to me. If, in the future, I ever want to do jewelry making I can just rebuy the stuff as it's not very expensive. I don't want to store it anymore, though.


Anyway, this was long winded - but my point is that this push into a space that's less than half the size of what we are in now has brought me to a whole new level of decluttering, minimizing and just general reducing our amount of STUFF and it's AWESOME. I love it! 


Plus, we've sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist and have made $1,500 in the last two weeks, so that doesn't suck, either! :thumb


Anyone else reduced their space and stuff by half?!

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

And I've done another five Volvo wagons full to Goodwill and we have done three runs to the dump, too (recalled crib, broken plastic compost barrel, broken yard supplies, old yucky dog beds, old cat box, etc - honestly stuff that couldn't be recycled or donated. It's really eye opening, though, and will make me think twice about stuff we buy in the future).

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

And we do have a storage unit that we will be storing bikes, camping gear, power tools that are not cost effective to sell and rebuy when we need them, etc. 

post #4 of 13
It sounds like a life changing experience! I have no doubt your life will be happier after your change!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you! biggrinbounce.gif
post #6 of 13
I moved last year and only packed things I loved. I was ruthless. And anything missing parts went on a shelf and only got packed if I found the other parts.

My new house is so easy to keep organized. I just love it.
post #7 of 13

Ive done this.... we moved xcounrty twice only to end up right back where we started but the joy of getting rid of all most everything was liberating.


we live in a space similiar to where you are going  2 b 1 1/3 bath condo. 900 sq ft ish ( patio and storage).  I LOVE IT.  We moved in with nothing so ive been slowly buying thngs to fit the space. a year later the living room  is almost done,  we eat at the breakfast bar and the dining room will become the library/craft space eventually.  i just got a patio set last week.  its lovely, its peaceful and the trsh goes out each night, the recycle goes out each night.



post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I'm really excited.

I just will love having a smaller space. Kind of like when i was a kid building a fort- i always set up house inside and loved the small space with little stuff.
post #9 of 13

We are about to move from a 5br with a full basement to a 3br with a crawlspace instead of a basement.  I am excited!  When we moved in here, I discovered that our family really only uses about 1/4 of the space in the house.  I figured with 4 kids- extra space would be good, but really, it just provides too much space- encouraging major roughhousing indoors and we stick to the common space in the kitchen and computer area, as well as my bedroom and the kids' room.  Even my daughter prefers sleeping in the room with her brothers, though she does have her own space. 


post #10 of 13


Anyone else reduced their space and stuff by half?!


Yup! We went from about a 1300 square foot apartment to what is probably less than 600 square feet now. The price we pay for a simple life, with no car rides to get to anything in one of the most expensive areas to live. It's turned out to be pretty easy. We have a small storage locker where we keep camping equipment and winter clothes and things we do use but only a few times a year. I'm debating my crafting bins at the moment. They live under our bed and with an 11 month old they never see the light of day. There's always more you can purge!

post #11 of 13

It has been amazing as I cleared out clothes that are no longer worn, broken toys and unread books that I no longer have an interest in. Seeing open spaces on shelves is a really enlightened feeling.

post #12 of 13

Yes, I moved from a 2,200 square foot home to an apartment as a new single parent - many years ago. In retrospect, I wish I had brought less with me. Finally, after years of dragging boxes of excess with me, I decided to purge and toss much of it.


I remind myself that unused items in my closets could be used by someone who is struggling to maintain a home so it makes it less painful to let things go. As the stuff leaves to go to charity or garage sale, it seems there is more air in our space and it is certainly much easier to maintain our home.

post #13 of 13

I moved from the marital home (3800sq ft and finished basement) to a 1600sq ft, 3 bedroom  with partially finished basement home about a year ago. I gave away so many unused toys, clothes, furniture etc.  It felt amazing to do such a huge declutter. As I was the only one packing for the move I was able to decide what went with us and what just plain went.

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