There’s a new trend in housing, but it isn’t a “BIG” one. Known as “Living Small,” “Voluntary Downsizing,” or other phrases, the trend toward simplified living is catching on fast everywhere. Thanks to a desire for a calming atmosphere in the home, as well as a growing level of environmental awareness, more Americans are embracing this lifestyle.
Ric Myers, Director of Sales for Willow Valley Communities, leads regularly scheduled seminars called “Living Small to Live Big” where he shares tips on how less really can be more in a residence. He finds that people don’t want to fill up their homes and their minds with things they don’t need. They want their lives to be filled with experiences, not stuff. Ric says, “It’s all about thinking how you use the space in your home and how much space you really need. Our residents find that their home is not just comprised of the four walls we live in, but of everything that Willow Valley and the Lancaster community has to offer.”
Ric offers these tips to get started based on concepts from Becoming Minimalist. (becomingminimalist.com)
Have a plan for your belongings.
Before you begin, investigate selling, recycling, donating, and give away options for the items you choose to declutter. The more prepared you are for the task, the simpler it will be… and the more likely you will be to follow through.
Start out slowly.
It doesn’t have to be done in one day. One easy method is to simply remove one item a day. After one year, guess what? You have painlessly decluttered 365 items from your home.
Start with the easy items.
Don’t make things more difficult by starting with the hardest things to get rid of; instead, start with the easy stuff and then as you strengthen your will to reduce, the harder decisions will become easier.
Don’t replace the old things with new.
That same day you start removing items from your home is the same day you commit to buying less. The freedom will be liberating.
“But I might need this some day”.
Think about what “might need someday” really means. Be realistic about what need really is.
Many items in our homes may be useful, but they are not absolutely necessary to our life and our well-being in our homes. On the few occasions when you have a very large group of guests, you can always borrow from friends, family, or neighbors.
Keep the things you love.
Your home should only contain the things you love or use regularly. Don’t let guilt, sentimentality, or other people dictate what you should keep or give away. If the items are yours, it is your choice to decide what to do with them.
Gifts do not have to be material.
Encourage people to follow this concept when buying gifts for you. Some alternative ideas are gifts of experience or adventure, a gift of time spent together, or even a cash gift, rather than items that may one day become clutter.
Join us for our next Live Small to Live Big seminar on March 1st. For more information or to register please visit our Events page.