When facing the idea of downsizing, most people instantly think of the amount of things in their homes and wonder first of all ”What am I going to do with all this stuff?” Their next question may be ”how or where do I start?”
There is a mindset, a way of being, one needs to adopt in order to have success downsizing. And that way of being is to bring as much open-heartedness to yourself and to your partner (if you have one) as you can possibly muster.
What do I mean by ‘open-heartedness’? I mean kindness, love, gentleness, curiosity, patience, and being non-judgmental.
No matter who it is that is facing their own downsizing project, what they have accomplished in their lives, where they have been, matters not a bit.
Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time and everyone feels overwhelmed and somewhat fearful when coming face-to-face with downsizing themselves. It’s quite likely they are also giving themselves a hard time for having waited so long to get started, for collecting so much over the years, maybe even for being alone and not having anyone to help them, which only makes a hard situation even more difficult.
Bringing an attitude of kindness, gentleness, open-heartedness to your project is key.
Yes there is stuff – but there is also an opportunity to think less about, ”What am I going to do with all this stuff??’ and more about getting honest with yourself about what is most important to you at this point in your life, how do you want to spend these next years in your home and outside of your home and what is it that you have been carrying around that still brings you joy, and or meaning.
If working with a spouse, partner or parent, downsizing is also an opportunity to experience a ”life review” through your belongings and to share memories. It’s an opportunity to practice respecting your differences when they come up, knowing that what is meaningful to each of us is an ”inside job.”
No one can tell us what is meaningful or not meaningful to us. Only we can determine that.
So what’s at the heart of successful downsizing? It is heart. Put that at the center of your project and the rest will sort out itself.