Saturday morning, I was texting my husband who was spending his day helping someone run somewhat of an estate sale in their home. Remember my post about increasing income and working side jobs? He’s the man when it comes to that. Anyway, he texted me that a few of the helpers were bringing their own stuff to sell alongside the client’s, and he asked if I wanted to drop anything by to sell. I told him that I couldn’t really think of anything that we needed to get rid of and he replied, “Yeah, you’ve been downsizing a lot lately so we don’t really have anything.”
Cue Kristen’s belly laughter. Why is this funny? Because we live in a 500 sq. ft. apartment and have been married a year, and “downsizing” sounds like a 75-year-old’s term for selling off the house the kids grew up in and moving into something more manageable. I just had to laugh. How much can we really downsize? We have to suck it in if someone wants to open the bathroom door while the other is brushing his teeth! We live tiny.
You know what? My husband was right. I have been downsizing. At first it wasn’t even really intentional. I had just listed a few things on a social swap and sell page to make room in my closet. I realized there were a few things we weren’t using at all so I listed those things too. Before I knew it I was purging out old books and movies and trying to decide what clothes I REALLY needed and what clothes were just sitting in the closet (easier said than done). Although we don’t own a home or necessarily have a lot of stuff by the average American’s standards, we needed to purge.
Personally, I love purging because it provides space, and I feel incredibly anti-materialistic. I love reading motivational articles about minimalist philosophy and capsule wardrobes. I am not yet involved much with either of those, but I can appreciate having less stuff to clean, keep track of, and store.
What people may not realize is that “downsizing” can be a great way to save on expenses and make a little side cash to put towards debt. Here are just a few thoughts I’d like to share about ways to “downsize” no matter your stage of life or living situation.
- Sell extra items online.
There are tons of Facebook sites for this as well as things like Craigslist and Ebay. Even if you only sell a few things for $5-10, that money adds up. Furniture, décor, and old formal dresses from weddings or proms are good things to list, but these days people will buy anything.
- Throw away broken and unusable items.
Clothing that can’t really be mended well, old electronics, and appliances are all good things to look at here. Is the item taking up space in the house or garage because you “used to” use it or you “might use it someday,” but never have even after owning it 5 years. Pitch it. Move on. Old makeup, hair, and nail products fit this category too. If you’re not using it, if it’s old, if it’s not “your color,” get it out of your space!
- Discard expired food.
Cleaning out the cupboards and fridge in our apartment always gets fun, and we’ve only been married a year! It’s nice to get rid of expired nasty stuff and see space again. This can save you money because you can now clearly see what you have to work with in your meal planning and grocery shopping.
- Donate items that don’t sell.
Items that still have good use could also go to charity thrift stores. Please think through what you donate. If you’re donating it because it’s damaged or junky, just throw it. Also, please don’t donate undergarments. Ew.
- Don’t “fill up” your new space!
Once you’ve cleared yourself some space, enjoy it. Please don’t go buy more junk to fill it up right away. I promise it’s nice to have less junk invading your space. Part of that is practical, cleaning and organizing doesn’t take as long. Part of it is purely psychological. I rest better in an organized, clutter-free home.
I hope this was somewhat helpful. If you have any great tips of ways to “downsize” your home, please share them!