I’m afraid my blogging has suffered because I’ve been so busy working on my new book, which I’m excited to say is almost finished. It’s in the final editing stage right now, so it won’t be much longer before it’s published.
Like my other books, it’s related to decluttering. Until you go through the process yourself, I don’t think you can truly understand just how liberating it is to get rid of things you don’t really need. My goal is to help others understand just how wonderful it feels to be free of too much stuff, and to live in an uncluttered home.
In a culture where accumulation of stuff is a sign of prosperity, it seems like someone has to become overwhelmed with their clutter and sometimes even forced to downsize before they consider lightening their load.
So they begin to declutter their homes, but get stalled out in the middle of the process. There’s a common reason for that; the solution is the subject of my new book. So stay tuned!
This recent article about builders who think new construction should include smaller homes brought joy to my heart. It has been so long since I’ve seen a small house being built. But it no longer makes sense to only build McMansions. Young people can’t afford them.
Having lived in a large home for many years, I learned that while it’s nice to have lots of space, cleaning it takes too much time, and paying for it takes even longer. And even after we paid off the mortgage, we still had an enormous property tax bill to deal with every year.
Since we moved to a small, well-designed small ranch (1000 square feet), I’ve come to truly enjoy the freedom that comes with not having so much house to deal with. I hate to think of how much time I spent decorating that big house we had. Now that we do everything on a smaller scale, I love having so much more free time. I can see where that would really benefit busy young singles, couples and families.
I hope that article is a sign of things to come. I can’t wait to see a new subdivision filled with lots of small, energy-efficient, well-designed little homes. If I didn’t love my little house so much, I’d be tempted to move to a brand new one.
Wow, is this a sad story. A widow whose home was rehabbed by the television show “Extreme Makeover” just lost her house to foreclosure, has to move out, and doesn’t know where she will go.
There’s lots of blame to go around here, from the television show producers that insisted on a huge, showy makeover, to a government that charges ridiculously high property taxes, to a woman who was under stress but should never have agreed to have her house improved to such an extreme.
The fact is that a widow with three boys never needed a 3,300 square foot house with with all the latest amenities, including an indoor water wall. She just needed a safe sturdy house in which to raise her boys.
So many people have lost their homes over the past decade because they chose to live in a place that was much larger and fancier than what they really needed. When will people learn? Small and affordable = freedom and peace!
In the early 1980s, my husband and I bought a lovely Oriental rug that graced our dining room for many years. It was a big purchase for us, back when we had two incomes and no kids, and we really loved that rug.
Yesterday he asked me whatever happened to that rug, and I couldn’t remember. We bought it for our first house, but it didn’t really have a place in our second house, which was fully carpeted, and so we put it in the basement, and then…what? We must have gotten rid of it during our big downsizing ten years ago, but neither of us remember what we did with it.
It’s funny how you can have possessions that you love a lot, that you don’t think you’ll ever get rid of, but then you do, and over time you forget what even happened to them. This is an important point to realize and remember when you need to declutter your home, because you’re forced to, like we were, or because it just really needs to be done, and you’re having a hard time letting go of things.
The truly important things in your life are people, not things. Everything else is expendable, and someday you won’t even remember what you did with most of your stuff. I wish I’d known that when I was younger; decluttering wouldn’t have been such an enormous, time-consuming project!
Some commenters on this article about a young man who built a very nice home out of truck trailers focus too much on the fact that he had a place to park his new home, and not on the fact that he has found a great way to save a fortune on rent.
Today’s economy is forcing young people to be creative like this. How much better to build your own home on your folks’ land instead of wasting away in their basement!
Today a catalog arrived in the mail. It was filled with nostalgic items for people of a certain age…like me. When I got to the page where you can buy all sorts of candy that was available when I was a child, the color photos of the different packages of candy brought back good memories.
And that reminded me of what I did when we downsized and gave up so many of our belongings: I took photos of the items I loved but couldn’t keep. When I look at those photos, all the memories linked to those items come flooding back, and it’s lovely.
So if you dread decluttering because you have a hard time letting go of sentimental items, remember you can just whip out your phone and take a photo of each beloved item. You don’t have to hold something in your hand to bring back memories: a photo will do, and it takes up a lot less room.
Some people like tiny houses because they’re more affordable than average houses; other people prefer them for the statement they make about sustainability, or having a smaller footprint on the earth. When I read articles like this one, I have to wonder how long the enthusiasm for tiny houses will last. I suspect it all depends on whether or not the economy improves.
My adult children all live in houses or apartments bigger than the house I live in. I really don’t picture them downsizing unless they experience job loss or some other financial setback. But for (ahem) older people like me, small is beautiful!