Want to ethically downsize your life, and don’t know where to start, don’t worry I will walk you through several ways to downsize in an eco-organised way?
If there is one thing Covid19 has taught me, why wait to start living the life you want. Have you always wanted to pick up sticks and move to the country or buy a van and travel (when we can)? Life really is too short, it’s not a dress rehearsal, it’s time to ditch the stuff holding you back and start living the dream.
Like anything, the secret to success is keeping things simple. And before you start any physical downsizing, what’s very important and makes downsizing a lot easier, is invest time to think through and plan what your “downsized” life looks like, the activities, hobbies, alongside this think through the physical things you need in your new home- furniture, aides etc. Consider, Do I need help, who will that be, am I going to give away items or do I have the skills/energy/time to sell items?
All really good questions to ask yourself, so don’t rush this, spend time thinking this through, in the long run this will save you time and heartache. Another important tip is try this first step this on your own, friends may have the best intention but may they talk you out of letting go of things you love and need or talk you into holding onto things that no longer add value to your life. This is your opportunity to control the outcome, create your dream home and lifestyle. So, own it!
The aim of ethical downsizing is to find good homes for our unwanted items in a way that respects our environment
- Start by familiarizing yourself with what you can recycle in your area, even in lockdowns we can still recycle
- Ask your council- e waste-paint-worn out fridges, textiles, car batteries, metal etc
- Think about who could benefit from your unwanted items
- Ask your local op shop what they need at the moment before you load up the car, in others words donate what they need
- Gift or donate unwanted items to someone setting up home- a student- refugee- women’s shelter- recently divorced, everything we can divert from landfill makes a world of difference.
- For more inspiration visit Eco Organiser® Useful Links we have over 100 links to responsibly donate or dispose of items
The Emotional Factor
For many people downsizing can be an incredibly emotional and stressful time. How do I stop it from overwhelming me? It’s a common question, so let’s look at a few ways to help you conquer the emotional factor of downsizing.
At Eco Organiser® we look at clutter as anything that does not add value to your life, we move it from one place to the next and never use it. With that in mind, look around your home for things they no longer add value to your life and move from one place to another but never ever use!.
Tip 1. Remove all the clutter ASAP, this has an immediate impact, can help remove some anxiety of “this is too much” and alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed, importantly it allows space for your treasures to shine through. With your treasures shining through the next step is very important.
Tip 2. Set limits, on how much moves with you, here are a few questions to ask yourselves that may help you set limits.
- Is it practical, does it warrant space in my life?
- Is it in good condition?
- If I got rid of it, what would I miss about it?
- What’s worth more- this object or the opportunity to simplify my life?
Tip3. Enjoy them one last time. If you are still struggling to let go and there is no physical space for all your things in your new home, why not enjoy them one more time.
Example: Invite friends around (or zoom) and play your piano until your fingers hurt and the neighbors complain.
Give things to someone that loves it just as much as you, it may not be family but you may know someone that will cherish it as much as you. Why not negotiate visiting rights so you can enjoy it with them.
With the emotional factor put to one side, its time to downsize.
Ten top tips to downsize
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it
- Set limits. Be truthful and realistic Example- How many dinner sets do I really use and need?
- Measure everything twice – Considering new furniture or blending existing pieces into your new home, it’s important measure everything twice- both the space and the furniture
- Allow space in your new home for your treasures
- DON’T ASSUME your kids want your stuff
- Sell or donate?-The answer really depends on the furniture and your energy levels. Not sure where to start selling antiques, check out our blog
- DON’T ASSUME your furniture are antiques
- Try not to feel insulted if the local op shop doesn’t accept your furniture, if they cannot sell it, they cannot accept it.
- Ask the grandies to help you sell things online- be realistic with your pricing, are you selling to make money or move it on?
- Do charities take unwanted appliances? Yes, some do, but you need to ask, go to Eco Organiser® Useful Links we have a few listed- Habitat for Humanity in Vic and Generous and Grateful In Sydney, RizeUP in QLD all doing amazing things to help people in need
Need help to ethically declutter, check out our step-by-step process
In her second book Ethically Declutter your Home in 30 days Tanya sets daily tasks to help regain control over your time and space in a sustainable way. Learn how to identify clutter, how to ethically declutter, how to responsibly dispose of unwanted stuff and move towards waste free living. Order your copy here also available in e version.
For further information or to book Tanya at your next event :
Phone +61 411 895 353