Downsizing, or, Real Simple bites

I’ve always reacted negatively to the magazine Real Simple‘s tagline : Do less, Have More*.

Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

We’ve decided to downsize, and in a few weeks will move into a smaller home.

I find it liberating. Yea, though I must pack all I own and move to a new land (actually just across the street), the land of milk and honey and smaller bathtubs. 

There’s something about going through the detria of life and sifting the truly necessary from the “I or someone like me might need/use this object is some vague time in the future”. Especially with kids, it’s amazing how very like a black hole one’s living space can become.

One of my favorite sites is Small Notebook, which advocates conscious, streamlined living and frugality. Especially pertinent in today’s economic drought.

And so I’ll be taking Small Notebook’s advice over the next two weeks as we sift, glean, and purge. Extra clothing? Donate (which I do already). Child masterworks covering the fridge? Scan and save to the laptop. Papers and printed paraphernalia? Conscious decisionmaking. It’s amazing how freeing the experience can be. I do highly recommend it- even without moving across the street.

Are you downsizing? How do you sift? Any help on how to purge?

*note: as of press time, they’ve changed it to “Life Made Easier”, at least on their website. A reflection of a more current outlook?? One hopes so.

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9 Responses to Downsizing, or, Real Simple bites

  1. ladybird world mum says:

    Oh I love to streamline! Trouble is that streamlining becomes river and flows straight down into sea of clobber.
    But… I think you have solved all my problems… ‘scan and save to laptop’… BRILLIANT! So excited. Can now get rid of mountain (in addition to streams, rivers and seas) of paper work that I fondly keep thinking I will want to see again. HOORAY. Thanks a million.

  2. jesurgislac says:

    Given our disagreement on civil rights and equality for all, I am more pleased than usual to be able to say how much I admire someone who can streamline efficiently: the only times I have really been able to do this have been when moving several hundred miles!

    I’ll check out Small Notebook: I am all in favor of consciously living a less wasteful, more frugal life.

  3. evenshine says:

    lbwm- no problem. It’s only the beginning, though. Check out Small Notebook for more ideas.

    j- awww, shucks. Thanks for the compliment. I hope you enjoy Small Notebook! I’ve found the advice to be hugely beneficial.

    Cheers.

  4. badmommymoments says:

    good for you. we’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. i’ve already started giving away and/or tossing everything baby we’re done with and all outgrown clothes…working our way to the smaller house. good luck with the move!

  5. antropologa says:

    Your bathtubs ARE obscenely large. But I’m sorry you have to move.

    We’re trying to get rid of stuff, too. Easier said than done. Necessity is the mother of getting-rid-of-stuff though.

  6. faemom says:

    My husband fantasizes about the days he held all his world goods in his car. But this is a guy who has two dressers filled with clothes. Filled. I admire your ability to downsize and streamline. I’m afraid I’ll need something if I throw it away, like something from the kitchen or craft supplies. But at least I cull through the clothes and the toys. Good luck!

  7. Mary-LUE says:

    My husband and I are a weird pair in the stuff department. There are some things that many people consider required items that we don’t bother with, but then we have more of some stuff than other people bother with.

    I love the whole simple life idea. It was after reading The Plain Reader that I decided to quit my job a few years back. The idea of removing stuff and obligations appeals to me. Right now with school, that’s a little tough.

    We are trying to spend more carefully and thoughtfully these days.

    (I’m rambling a little, sorry!)

    BTW, I can’t find that post you mentioned… can you point the way?

  8. we went from a 4 bed three bath to a two bed two bath. Most of our stuff is boxed up in the basement, but it really shows you how much you really need. Also this house is more open and even though it is a smaller sq ft it feels more functional and useful.

    Make sure you back up those pics from your laptop on a cd or uplaod them to a site off your pc… you don’t want to loose them if your pc crashes.

  9. evenshine says:

    Mojavi- that’s quite a change! The best part of moving, like you said, is realizing how much less you need. And everyone can appreciate having fewer bathrooms to clean!

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