After 35 years of working and collecting stuff to make my life comfortable, if not bearable, I realize I’ve got more stuff (clutter) than I need at this time in my life. I’m not retired, but I’m getting close. When I do retire, I don’t want to be shackled with so much stuff that it runs my life. I want to do the things I love most like spend time with family, friends, and my pets; not take care of ‘things’. “I can’t take it with me” is truly meaningful; and downsizing is not only about selling my 2 story home in favor of a much smaller ranch home, but uncluttering my life.
The kids don’t want the stuff my husband and I collected, and I can’t part with it for pennies, so I donate my stuff and write it off as a tax credit. Lots less aggravation and worry involved, and it helps a charity. These days (as I get closer to retirement) I get a charitable donation tax credit almost every year.
Downsizing is more than just getting rid of stuff; it’s about getting rid of a few bad habits and regrets. For example, I used to ‘clutter’ my thoughts about my failures and regrets in life, especially regarding work – I’m a workaholic, and I’m not sorry for that; I love working. I am sorry that I spent more time than necessary worrying about my failures; it was my failures that taught me the most. As for regrets, I’ll probably still have a few, but I don’t let them run my life; I’ve decided to be kinder to myself. I can only do what I can with the resources I have at any given moment, and to try to do more and beat myself up about it if I can’t is just unkind to me. I strive to be kind to everyone, so why not myself?
Anyway, downsizing is a great idea at any age, because it’s really about finding what is of true value to us. How do you downsize? What does it mean to you?
As always, I’ve included a few links that may be of interest. Feel free to suggest other links.
Believe in yourself, and thanks for ‘listening’.
Downsizing your stuff
Downsizing your life
Downsizing your home
Find a Charity