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Downsizing: Discovering Happiness Through Simple Living

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May 14, 2020

Discover the joy in downsizing

Live a life surrounded by nothing but that which truly makes you happy! Follow Marie Kondo’s simple method of only hanging on to the objects that bring you pure joy. Simply take up one thing at a time and, piece by piece, ask yourself if it sparks joy. If not, that’s a candidate for donation! Try to focus on the new life you are about to begin. Think about the exciting, active lifestyle you want to lead and what things you’ll want to bring with you into that new life.

Choose only the furniture you love

We suggest clearing out the larger items in your home first. A great way to start is to eliminate things that belong in the rooms you no longer have to furnish. Moving to a condo? You might not have a garage, office, or guest room. The objects that belong in these rooms will be easiest to part with.

To help establish a guideline for what to keep, take photos and get exact measurements of each room in your new home and use that to establish where the things you’re keeping will go. Not all of your furniture may fit into your new place, but most of your art and décor likely can. You can fit a lot of beautiful things such as throw pillows, your favourite wall art, vases, and more—as long as it all sparks joy!

Keep your favourite clothes

Gather your clothing in one place, take a look at each item, and ask yourself one simple question: “Do I wear this?” Be realistic, and make conscious decisions about if and when you will wear them. Try to keep only the basics and your favourite items. Letting go of large swathes of your clothing may be difficult at first, but will get easier if you stay focused on your goals.

Keep books that bring you value

You may have collected a few too many books over the years. That’s okay! Take a look at each of your books and decide if they add value to your life or if they are just weighing you down. Remember that books aren’t simply stores of information. They can be beautiful additions to your home as aesthetic objects, and the potential of an unread book—sitting on your shelf, waiting for you to make time for it—is limitless. Purging the ones that no longer speak to you will make room for new books in your new lifestyle!

Sort your paperwork

Sort your papers into three different piles: the first should be paper that requires your immediate attention, like unpaid bills or letters unresponded to; the second pile should be short term papers, like tax documents and warranties; and the third pile should be the paperwork that you’ll need for a lifetime, like passports and birth certificates. Anything that does not fit into one of these piles should be escorted to the recycling bin.
(By the way, signing up for e-bills and automatic payments will reduce the amount of paper you receive.)

Keep memory-inducing trinkets 

Photographs, old letters, and keepsakes may be the most difficult things to shed. It can be nearly impossible to decide what’s worth keeping and what is not. This is where Marie Kondo’s strategy comes in very handy. If these tokens spark joyful memories or feelings, keep them! If their emotional associations are a little less happy, it may be time to consider letting them go. We suggest allotting two or three small boxes that you can keep organized and updated as time progresses.

Begin the purge

So you’ve spent a good amount of time purging your belongings: now what? You can choose to donate, give keepsakes to family members, sell, or give it away! With so many options, it may be overwhelming to decide all at once. Take this on one room at a time, enlist some trusted help, and take a few deep breaths.

This is just the beginning of the next chapter of your unencumbered new life, full of meaning and joy!