View Full Version : Downsizing or Decluttering--Without Kids!

6-17-12, 12:55am
Dear folks, Lately I have been having this urge to declutter and downsize. We rent a six room house with attic and cellar and there is also a storage unit offsite (don't even ask).

We don't really *use* all of the rooms. For e.g., the master bedroom has enough space for a nightstand, queen size bed and a bureau. The rest of our clothes are in bureaus in another small bedroom. We have a "TV room" (more like a stereo room) which is pretty much essential to our mental health. The dining room is my "art room." I'm sorry to say the living room is too cluttered to have people sit in it. We mostly live in the kitchen.

There's too much unused stuff in the attic and cellar. Recently we had a problem with pets and mites, and realized that quite a lot of the house needed a deep clean. Suddenly, I feel as though it's all too much for me. Maybe it there weren't so much CRAP to dust, move, etc. We DO enjoy the privacy of a detached dwelling so I'm not sure an apartment is the answer.

Has anyone else ever felt like this? Is it a mid-life crisis type thing?

6-17-12, 3:00am
I do feel that my urge to purge is an age thing. Helped by the support on this board. and I still strugle with just how to get rid of it all.

6-17-12, 9:13am
I feel like this all the time. I don't have a lot of clutter,but I definatly feel that I have more than we need. No kids at home, three bedroom house, 300 sq ft heated finished space in the basement (art studio and home office), two car garage with attic storage... .Yeah it's a lot. I want to declutter and organize our space. Only keep what we really use etc... Problem is dh and I can't decide how we want to live if we do move to a smaller space. Apartment, mobile home etc...?

6-17-12, 8:08pm
I think the major problem is the clutter, not the space, per se. for me, anyway.

6-17-12, 11:19pm
Wevarevthinking of moving into a smaller home but then we feel we need a larger home to accommodate all of the things we do, like arts and crafts I have a nice table in the large living room here with DH we can be together
while I work. We used to cook a lot so I need a big kitchen for all my items I use. I guess what I'm trying to say if you use it --don't
lose it...just get rid of what you don't need anymore. Good luck!;)

6-18-12, 1:38am
I purge quarterly. It's my thing. SO, I don't think it's an age thing.

But I do think there come times when you just feel like "why do I have this or that?" I have that all the time, actually, and that's why I declutter frequently. I need more help with it -- because I delegate things but sometimes those things don't go anywhere. For example, we had a party in January where we used a lot of glass bottles (beer, wine, etc). We don't have a glass recycling bin (our landlord hasn't replaced the lost one -- and she has to as owner of the house, the city won't just give one to us, very weird), and so I told DH just to take them out and put a few in our neighbors (they said that was fine) on glass day. I have about 20 to 30 bottles sitting out there now, making me bonkers. I would recycle them myself, but I'm usually out of the house by the time the bins are put out, so it's one of those things that I just can't do myself.

So, I think I'm just going to ask my landlady for her bin for this next time, use her bin, and have it done with, since we reuse the rest of our jars anyway. But, that's me getting on it. :D

6-18-12, 8:42am
I definitely think that there are "seasons" in life to decluttering. Few young adults need to declutter as they are still in an accumulating phase. And having children is an accumulating phase. So it makes sense to me that in mid-life a person or couple might look around and say, "We don't really need all this stuff and it's a lot of work." Even my 80 year old mother, who is not a minimalist, can look into her closet and see that she doesn't need 25 T-shirts or to save all her checks from the 1970s.

7-5-12, 3:01pm
I was always a minimalist with very few things, but hubby was a bit of a pack-rat (stuff he used all the time though). Once we divorced I bought him out of the house (no kids but had 5 or 6 pets so I wanted to keep the house myself) and the first thing I did was rent a storage unit and put his stuff in there. I pretty much gave him everything in the house and then some. Left me not only with a very clean, un-cluttered and largely empty house, but a very clean, un-cluttered soul. One that was ready to move on to the next stage of my life. While getting rid of "his" things (and getting divorced) was hard emotionally, it was also extremely freeing. I loved the empty rooms and closets and garage in the house but it also made me realize I didn't need that large of a space just for myself, so I did downsize to a small space and was much much much the happier (and wealthier) for it.

7-5-12, 3:15pm
I have a 567 square foot cottage. I declutter frequently. I think it's easier to keep things clean and organized in a smaller home. I try to only keep things I love and use. This year I have purchased some antique furniture, but I needed it. It's much better quality than what I had, and I bought it at the Salvation Army. Now that I'm farming, I really don't need many clothes. I have 7,200 square feet of land, but it's filled with gardens...no junk. I just have an old fashioned swing hanging on the chicken coop, and a wicker chair with cushions on the front porch. I use both of them everyday. Like Spartana, I prefer to build wealth. I'm inspired by people in the pioneer times. I saw a photograph of Laura Ingalls Wilder's home. It was so sweet. It was very small, and they just had a few pieces of furniture. People didn't need much back then. It looked so relaxed and well cared for...many people today are drowning in stuff!

7-5-12, 7:07pm
I'm still working on purging stuff. It seems like every time I turn around, something else has showed up!

7-5-12, 9:51pm
See the name? LOL

After dealing with friends fires, estate sales, etc. I have decided I really need to clean out the clutter. The thing that sucks is the heat, REALLY is slowing me down.

7-6-12, 10:47am
In the interest of starting where I am, today while I have a slow day at work I'm decluttering my desk area, my emails, and my personal files on the work computer. I brought in DVDs to copy personal stuff off. I was aghast the other day when I realized how much personal stuff I have on this work computer. When I leave today the desk area will be clean, clear and spiffy.

Hopefully I'll continue the effort back at the apartment...

7-6-12, 5:42pm
I feel it every tuesday at 2:27 pm.

First, just start by decluttering. Once you do that, and you begin to observe how you live, you'll be better able to discern how you live. Once you have a very clear picture of which rooms you use, how you use them, etc, then you'll be able to see what you need to downsize.

For me, the first step of downsizing is simply decluttering. In our old condo -- which was 1300 sq ft and more than we needed -- I often felt overwhelmed and cluttered. I felt like we had "no useable space" per se, or that spaces weren't adaptable. The first big declutter and reno we did, which was in 2002, it was amazing.

I discovered that we use our bedroom, our bathroom, laundry, kitchen, living room and dining room. Which meant that two rooms went unused. And this continued until we moved nearly 10 years later. Knowing this, we knew that we could live as we do now -- basically in these rooms, but that's all the rooms we have! :D

You might discover that -- like my parents -- downsizing to the right amount of rooms makes the difference. My parents each have their own bedrooms and baths. This makes their lives better. So they got a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment for themselves. It has a nice eat-in kitchen, a nice living room space, and they live really nicely there. They love it. It works well *for them*.

You might discover that a smaller house is needed, but it may be bigger than another couple needs because you need a place for your art and you need a place for the media (media room). That's *all good*. Seriously. Everyone is different. The main thing is to downsize to the right size, and to do that, you need to declutter, observe how you live without clutter, and then go to the right size for you. :)