Friday, August 5, 2011

Downsizing...Minimizing

Downsizing...unfortunately we hear this term a lot lately due to the current state of the world economy. One of the definitions of downsizing is: "to reduce in size; conscious reductions in an attempt to improve efficiency and/or effectiveness."  I like this definition because this is exactly what I'm doing with my life these days, but due to the negative connotations associated with it, I prefer to say I'm "minimizing."  I've always been somewhat of a minimalist, never liked clutter, very organized, a list-maker, and everything-in-its-place kind of person. But, like many of my fellow Baby Boomers, there was a time when my dreams of "living off the land" were exchanged for dreams of a 3-bedroom, 3-bath home with garage and large yard. I had that for a while, too, and it was very nice at the time. However, I've always like small spaces - they seem friendlier and cozier to me and there's something incredibly freeing to live with only what one really needs. Less cleaning and dusting, for one thing.  Don't misunderstand - I love beautiful things and think we need beauty in our lives - I just don't need to be surrounded by tons of "things" in my home. As I grow older, and my time becomes ever more precious, I want to spend time doing the things I truly love, like being in nature as much as possible, walking, exploring, traveling, writing, spending time with loved ones - not taking care of a large home with rooms and furniture I never use anyway. So - not quite living off the land or sleeping on the ground like the hippies of the 60s and 70s, ( I do love a comfy bed and my back appreciates it, as well!) But I am looking at "things" differently and saying "do I really need this?   Is this something I treasure for sentimental reasons?"  If not - it's going...going...gone. Sometime within the next year, I plan to move from my 3-bedroom, 3-bath townhouse apartment to a much smaller space. I'm excited about this move...I don't know for sure (yet), where it will be, but it will have all that I truly need and nothing more, and be in surroundings that inspire and feed my soul.


 "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau






5 comments:

Brenda said...

I'm a minimalist too, Cindy. My mother wants every square inch of the house filled up with stuff. She has to have clutter, and it's driving me crazy. I would like to live where I could get rid of my car. A car is like taking care of another house.

Sunshine said...

Oh Cindy:

It sounds like everything is coming together. I know where your mind is at and I know it has taken a long time to get there. You are so smart. The things that are REALLY important in life are the things you love to do and the people you share time with. But you know all that. lol
My sister and her husband just bought a tiny house outside of the city and they are looking forward to moving. It is small and so cozy and I am looking for the same thing. I think our move will be next year. I would rather spend time with Gary, travel and be outside, than cleaning a 4 level home!!! So I hope to be next! Kudos to you and I know you will be happy. Enjoy your metamorphosis! The ending will open up beauty and meaning in your life!!! Miss you and take care, dear friend. No matter where you end up, you are surrounded by friends!

Hugs,
Carol

Cindy said...

@Brenda, a lot of clutter drives me up the wall, too, so I relate! I agree that a "walkable village" would be a great place to live! Thanks for the comment!

@Carol, I had no idea you were also thinking of downsizing! How exciting for you! Thank you, always, for your support in all I do!

J Burke said...

This is a great post and a much needed reminder for me to head in the same direction in my life too. I love the great that feeling of lightness it gives when I get rid of non-essentials that clutter my life. The clothes closet will have to be where I begin!

Cindy said...

Janet, I agree - love that feeling of lightness and freedom that clearing out the clutter brings! Thanks for stopping by!

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