Without a doubt, there's an ongoing movement towards minimalizing or decluttering - perhaps born as a counterbalance to our cultural need to have the latest and greatest gadget, smart phone or name brand. The topic of re-organizing and reducing the number of things in our lives definitely coincides with real estate, especially when I meet with sellers to discuss how to organize prior to listing a house for sale - but does decluttering and re-organizing have to wait until we are selling a property?
I recently watched on Netflix, Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things, by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus. They show how their lives have become better with less. Joshua says, "The things that truly bring us joy are rarely things." I personally agree - except for things that have sentimental value. They say material things may bring joy in an instant, but that rush of dopamine wears off and we are in search of the next new thing. Another advocate is Marie Kondo, the Japanese personal organizer and author of, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She's quickly becoming a household sensation through her unique method of personal categorization.
Does this mean we should all move to a "Tiny House"? For most, that's taking it a step too far, but the idea of simplifying and decluttering for peace of mind is certainly appealing. I always feel good after I make room in my closet. The Minimalists and Marie Kondo are definitely on the must see or read list. Meanwhile, here are a few tips from both:
- Decide what is really essential, eliminate excess.
- Tackle items by category, in order of: clothes, books and documents, miscellaneous items, and then sentimental things.
- Hold each item and decide if it "sparks joy" - Marie Kondo. If something no longer serves you, thank it and say good-bye!
- Organize the utility shed/ garage. Properly dispose of old paint cans and corroded chemicals.
- Check out the "project 333 challenge" at www.bemorewithless.com. Figure out 33 items of clothing and accessories you wear in a 3 month period.
- Gifting is joyous! You can't take it with you when you leave this earth, so if you plan to give something to a loved one, do it now while you are alive!
I've noticed that people who move a lot usually have less to get rid of, because the moving process itself requires a re-organization. Those who have lived in one place for many years often accumulate more over time, so it's a process to prepare to move.
Thinking about downsizing? I can help you. Call me to discuss it!