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Gettin’ down with the downsizing

Last weekend DH and I fulfilled an epic quest — we moved from a 10 x 5 storage space to a 5 x 5 storage space.  So we started out with 1100 square feet plus a 5 x 8 storage locker and we are now living in our eensy laneway plus holding on to enough extra junk, er belongings to fill just 5 x 5 x 8 feet.  And of course the big plan is that we will eventually get rid of all that extra, er, belongings.


It was good to move it all box by box and take inventory.  We could see where the trims could be made, and we will make them.  We will not make the mistake we did with our old storage locker.  We will not stick stuff in little secret corners and forget about it for 11 years.  We will have to move the stuff at the front to find the stuff at the back so will mix the contents of the locker and gradually take out what we need, and get rid of the rest.

That’s the plan.

Because we are currently living with less, and loving it.  And I can tell you why. I could have thought of my own reasons, but why bother when Life Edited already lists 5 Reasons to Love Less.

1.Less is better for the planet.

It hurts to see how much we throw out.  And it doesn’t take much brain-power to see that the less you bring into your life the less you have to toss.  Less waste.

2. Less gets us into the present moment. Despite our best efforts to prove otherwise, humans cannot do more than one thing at a time; paying attention to one thing will inherently displace our ability to pay attention to another. When we have less in our lives, we can pay attention more fully to the fewer things we do have and enjoy them more.

That’s a little deep, but if we appreciate what we already have we are less inclined to be always seeking more.  And vice versa.

3. Less is easier to manage.

This is really coming across as we downsize our wardrobes.  We do the laundry a little more often and operate on a strictly restricted clothing rotation.  But it saves time and effort — as it does when we deal with fewer pots and pans and dishes, less linen.

4. Less is usually more interesting.

I get a slightly different take on this rule than the author.  S/he feels

Try less. Be unprepared. You might find yourself with a more interesting life.

But to me #4 means that you have fewer things so you have to make sure that they are the best things you can afford/find.  You can’t make do with inferior goods, you have to have exactly what you need.

And finally

5. Less helps us find out what is truly important.

To take it to the extreme, we’ve all seen those shows on hoarders, who collect cardboard and old newspapers with the same manic passion as they collect fine china or crystal.  They honestly cannot make the differentiation between items of real value and ….things. Detritus.

When you have less, you give everything more value, so you make sure it has real, extrinsic value aside from the intrinsic value we give it.

Now the secret will be to keep our promises to live with less.

We have made a good start.

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

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  1. Pingback: No new (stuff) is good news | The Lady Who Lives Down the Lane

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