When your hand is forced

Sometimes when it comes to clutter it takes a major event to force you to deal with it. Sometimes we chip away at the clutter slower even than a thing a day, letting go of an item here and an item there. As we all know at that pace there is often just as much stuff coming in and all you are doing is marking time. Then something happens or you make a decision that finally forces your hand.

We have at least two long time readers and their spouses who have found themselves in the position where they decided to downsize their homes. In both cases these couples have been reading and decluttering along with us here for some time. I dare say they even thought that they had done a pretty good job of letting go of their excess stuff. But the prospect of trying to fit into a smaller dwelling with what they have left is not at all desirable or probably even a possibility. My brother and sister-in-law also put themselves in this position and did a remarkable job to prepare themselves, over twelve months, for a move from what had been their family home for many many years to a new city and a new two bedroom apartment.

I am sure that each of these couples learned to become far more ruthless with their declutter decision making when the stakes were this high. There are so many things that we all find sentimental and vaguely useful enough to cling on to until such an event occurs. In fact in some cases I wouldn’t even be surprised if people sometimes make these big potentially life changing decisions intentionally to force their hand. I guess I was just fortunate enough that, both my husband and I, had the foresight to glance further into the future than most and decided to get on with the task well ahead of time.

It is my experience that many people, when they learn that I write a blog about decluttering, express a desire to also declutter. They want this, they may even need it, but for some reason just can’t bring themselves to do it. I am sure many of you can relate to that. Even I had thought about the idea and chipped away at it for a couple of years prior to actually getting started in earnest. Then the thought struck me to take it easy and declutter slowly but consistently, rather than having to do it in a big scary rush some day in the future. This epiphany literally happened for me in the blink of an eye and I never looked back.

I have encountered several people who procrastinated over starting their decluttering journey, then one day just found their trigger to get started. Fortunately, for them, this meant that the task was done ahead of any big life change that would have found them floundering with a monumental task with a deadline. And that trigger can be the strangest of things. Observing someone else who was forced to undergo a downsize under pressure is just such inspiration. In at least one case the person simply found an easy way to make some money out of their stuff and that was inspiration enough. For others it was just getting to the point that enough was enough and things had to change.

Sadly I also know more than a few people who ignored the desire to declutter, then found themselves in the very stressful situation of trying to make fast painful decisions of what to keep and what to let go.

For those who have found this blog and are still procrastinating please don’t be that last person I mentioned above. Begin now with the easy stuff, find a variety of good ways to send your clutter on to be useful to someone else, recycle what you can and throw away that which is not useful to anyone. The decisions do get easier over time. Get your home in order now before your hand is forced. Because you just never know what life has in store for you just around the corner.

Today’s Mini Mission

Sometimes we buy a new item of clothing without letting go of the items that it replaced. Items that are a little shabby. So now is a good day to let go of some of those items.

Eco Tip for the Day

Recycle all that you can.  Don’t make excuses, don’t be lazy, just do it.


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. A friend sent me the link to your blog a few months ago. I have accepted the challenge from another website to declutter 2015 items in 2015. I am already nearly at 550 items and you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference, except that I feel happier every time I get rid of another bag or box of stuff, mostly to our local charity stores. All I can say is, what does that tell you about just how much stuff we have? And as I go, I’m getting more ruthless. Am I ever REALLY going to slim into those trousers I grew out of about 7 years ago and haven’t worn since? Out they go. And so on…
    Thank you for all your encouragement – please keep it up!

    • Hi Cathy, good for you. Yours is a fine example of what I always say about how the decision making gets easier with experience. Especially when there is a specific goal in mind. And I love how you said the how although you can’t see much difference except that you feel happy every time you get rid of something. That is exactly how I felt during my decluttering journey. Is is a great aspect of declutter to share with others who may be thinking it is all to hard. It doesn’t have to be when approached with the right mindset.

  2. I LOVE this post, Colleen. It is just so applicable to me right now. A sentiment that runs through my head is, do I want to move this item? It is true that we don’t plan to move for quite some time, but we know that when we do, we’ll be downsizing or just simply making better use of space. These things that I get rid of are not things that I love, that I use, that I have a fond feeling for, so they do not belong in my space. This morning I bagged up those silver items and after work, I plan to take them to the Cash-4-Gold guy who also buys silver. And I know I won’t get top price and I don’t care. And besides that, how long have I been yapping about that sugar and creamer set? Too long.

    I like getting rid of things slow and easy. Sure, I have done some purging, but now I’m down to things I’ve already considered and will consider again. It’s a good process. 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, another good example of ruthlessness there with that gold and silver. The sugar and creamer are two things that you’ve left until you were ready to make the decision but kept yourself busy with other stuff until then. Well done, and I am sure you won’t give them another thought once they are gone.

    • Michelle,

      Congrats on making a decision about the sugar and creamer set!

      • Well I got thwarted. The sign on the door said they were open until 6 p.m. I got there at 5:18 p.m. and it was locked up tight. Dangit. It is completely of the way of my drive home, but I may try again on Friday after work.

  3. Thank you for addressing this subject Colleen, I know more about this subject than I care to. I am so glad we downsized before moving with out any pressure.We owned our home for six years before coming here, and then the pressure was on! You think you are “there”, but really you never arrive, it is constant maintenance and reassessment.
    I so agree with Michelle that our greatest motivation was asking ourselves if we wanted to move certain things. My husband and I will celebrate 10 years at the end of the month and will be taking our boys on a road trip to the region we have been considering moving to for years now. If we decide it’s for us then more assessment will be needed. It helps that are leaving the sofa set here for his parents to enjoy when they return from their mission in South America next year.
    Incidentally, my young,single sister-in-law will be watching the house and our dogs (the cat is pretty independent). She considers herself a minimalist so we’lol see what she thinks of how her parent’s home functions now.

    • Hi Jean, yes, it is never too early to start decluttering for a downsize. I hope you and your boys enjoy the road trip and that you find a wonderful new home in a place you are excited to move to. And yes there will always be maintenance, my two bedroom apartment is proof of that. I am just glad that by becoming consumer conscious during my downsizing that now so little comes in that it doesn’t take much to keep up with what needs to go out.

      • We are super excited, Colleen! It has taken us a long time to get to this point, “decluttering” our house and our debt so we would be in the position to make this huge life change. And to be able to travel without incurring more debt is a priceless feeling.

  4. I started decluttering (aside from the obvious that the house was too cluttered) because I calculated that around 2015-2016 we’d have 1 or 2 fewer kids still at home and we could sell the house and move on with the next stage of our life. Let’s say that 2015 won’t be the year, not because of the clutter but there isn’t any sign of anyone going anywhere. Nevertheless, I would hate to have done the last 3-4 years work in a short period. I have been wondering however if we did sell the house, how much stuff would get culled in a sprint to the finish line to avoid shifting it.

    • Hi Moni, I hope you stick around here with us at 365 Less Things so we can all continue on with you on your journey. At least until the kids move out. And if that is taking way to long just send them all on vacation somewhere out of town and move out when they are gone. 😆 We often told our kids we were going to do that. Although, with a husband in the military, the possibility of a posting to some place they didn’t want to go was always on the cards and they would probably have chosen not to come with us. I actually didn’t expect them to be gone so soon. All the hints must have the right effect. 😉

      • I can’t remember if I mentioned this story before or not, but tying in with “moving” issues: Years ago, hubby was helping his aunt pack up for a move from Colorado to Texas. She hadn’t gotten everything packed and the truck was about to head out. They only had it reserved for a very specific, short time. She started tossing 3-4 magazines in big boxes and saying she needed those to go in the truck too. Her son started freaking out, saying no way was he loading big boxes of just a few items into the truck to haul to Texas. BIG battle and so unfortunate.

      • Colleen – well, by now I should only be left with one kid at home, and I have three plus an extra arriving this weekend. I don’t think I’m going anywhere in a hurry. And when I do shift, I will have the task of downsizing to fit into a new home. In the mean time, I’m enjoying helping friends with their houses too

  5. I have watched my mother in laws journey with clutter and hoarding unfold as the years go by. The other day she had a yard sale to make some money and then insisted on going through the stuff that was leftover and took about half of it (and it was a lot) home to keep. She was willing to sell it but not willing to “just give it away”. I dread the day when she may have to downsize or it is left to her children to go through it and sort it all out when she passes.

    • Hi Miss Bee, my mother-in-law has recently discovered that she can sell stuff via a Facebook buy swap and sell page for her neighbourhood. That has certainly fired up her efforts of decluttering. She has never been, what I would consider, a hoarder though and doesn’t mind giving things away. Even I have had certain items that I would not have decluttered unless attempting I to gain a little cash in return. Sometimes I was unsuccessful and let it go anyway once I had tried. And sometimes I tried more than once before letting the item go. It is interesting that people don’t seem to have a problem with handing out the cash for stuff that soon becomes just clutter but, when faced with having to give the stuff away, get all bent out of shape about recouping their loses. If only they would think this way when wasting their money on stuff in the first place.
      I sincerely hope you mother-in-law comes to her senses. And like you I think it is sad that most likely her children will be the ones left dealing with it.

  6. I understand this post so much Colleen. When my father died in 1993 Mom and I had to move within a few months and it has taken us all this time to declutter some of the stuff Mom and Dad had stuffed in their house. This is one of the reasons that i have been working to encourage Mom to declutter. I don’t want to have to be forced to do the decluttering in a short time or pack it into a new place.

    • Deb J.,
      As I have said before, you are a good daughter. But (isn’t there always a but?), ultimately, your Mom’s stuff is your Mom’s stuff to deal with. We are both children of Mom’s who grew up in the Great Depression which explains but does not excuse their holding so tight to things they could easily let go of. As I recall, you will eventually be moving to a complex where you and your Mom will have separate apartments. Could you possibly speak to her about the cost of packing and moving her stuff or how you will be busy settling in to your place which would leave her with rooms of cardboard boxes that she will be responsible for unpacking by herself? Be strong…draw the line with her in a gentle way.

    • I can understand why you are so keen to be organised for it this time Deb. Moving can be a pain at the best of time but moving without good preparation would be a nightmare. No one would ever want to do that again.

  7. All good things must come to an end. We built this house on 11 acres (3 ha) in Canada when we retired in 2007. For seven years Ian had his own playground to plant and chop and dig and mow, not to mention tons of snow to shovel and plow from our 600 ft driveway. Time takes its toll and even the Energizer Bunny runs down eventually. Last summer he came to the conclusion that he had other ways he wanted to spend his time but neither of us wanted to move to town. Our solution is to divide our property and build a new house (much the same as this house) on the smaller portion. We still have the trees and the lake and the birds and the critters. He’ll still be able to keep busy with snow to shovel and grass to mow, just not so much of it.

    We’ve been consistently decluttering for a few years but now that we have a deadline there’s the impetus to deal with the difficult stuff. We’re only moving to the other side of the forest, and yes the new house will have lots of room, but regardless of the distance or the destination, everything still has to be packed and moved. To add to the situation, our new home won’t be ready for us until October and we hope to sell this place in the summer. We could end up “homeless” (living in our trailer or a rented place) and all our stuff would have to be moved twice! More reason to be ruthless in the culling.

    I never kept track in the beginning stages of decluttering but now I do. Our original plan was to move in two years so I simply doubled 365 and gave myself the goal of 730 things by August 2016. Well, we moved up our plan to 2015 and I decided I needed to be decluttered before the house goes for sale, so that jumped me up to 730 things in 8 months. Today I hit 720! The goal will be met and surpassed with ease and I intend to keep going.

    I didn’t start decluttering with the future in mind. I did it because the stuff was driving me nuts. Being in a good place so we could move forward with our lives is just a bonus. WB

    • Wendy B. that sounds like a wonderful solution! And your decluttering successes are absolutely astonishing! I am in awe of you. 😉

      Like you and Ian, we also want acreage when we retire, which will be in approximately 12 years. He’ll be 62 and I’ll be 59. I wonder if we’ll be able/willing to manage acreage at those ages. 12 years is a looooooong time.

      • Hi Michelle. Circumstances really do play a part in decision-making. We bought this place in 2001 and used it as a retreat for 6 years before retirement. Parked our old 5th wheel trailer in the woods and came for weekends. It was Ian’s haven. We retired when he was 62 and I was 52. It should have been early enough for us to have many years of enjoyment but his health issues cropped up after about 3 years and arthritis is ruining his spine. He’s had one operation and another much more extensive to come soon. Recently he had a small heart attack and we were astonished to learn that this apparently healthy man had inherited is father’s heart problems. If we hadn’t already decided to move, that would have been the kicker. Modern medicine will probably take care of the heart, and help the back but Ian has decided that as he’s about to hit 70 this year, he would rather spend his time in a kayak and not on a lawnmower.

        Have your dreams and make your plans but always keep your options open. I expect you will be able to enjoy retirement acreage living as we have but keep a ‘next step’ in mind. There’s nothing sadder than these old farmers who hang on far too long. And one piece of advice – don’t build your home 600 feet from the road!!!

        • I am really sorry to hear about Ian’s health issues. That can be frustrating and sad, but hopefully better things will come. Some people have asked why don’t we buy our property now. We are in Colorado but plan to retire in Idaho, so we would be long-distance landlords, which I think is not a good idea. Plus, what if something happens and we physically cannot do what we think we’ll be able to do? Also, what if we decide that we would rather live in town? There are way too many unknowns to buy land now. Oh, and I’ll certainly keep the road distance in mind!

          • Good plan, Michelle. We hadn’t planned to buy here when we did but discovered it by accident and fell in love. It’s only a 2-hour drive from where we lived but even that was enough!! You have lots of time to vacation over there and see if it is what you really want before you commit. Not only do personal circumstances change suddenly but you will find the landscape changes over the years and your rural retreat may become a subdivision or an expensive resort in the meantime, you may realize too late that you are on the wrong side of the political spectrum to live comfortably among your neightbors (happened to our friends) or you always visited in summer and didn’t realize that it was a nasty miserable place in winter (made that mistake too). Having a vision of the future is great, but make the most of the present — or — Life’s unpredictable. Eat dessert first!

    • Hi Wendy B, yes life just happens sometimes and what seemed like a good fit can change just around the corner. I am just glad the Steve and my plan should fit nicely for what we want to do now and well into the future. There are so many other retirees moving into places just like ours in the City where we live and most of them are much older than us. So hopefully that will bode well for our future. Anything can happen though, but whatever that is I am sure we will easily slot into it.

  8. A move really can motivate you to start 365-ing! We’re moving at the end of this year or next year, so I’m hoping to get rid of as much as possible. I might even start selling some furniture. I already sold our patio furniture that we weren’t using. Now I’m thinking of selling the dining set that we never use.

    Good luck to everyone else making a move this year or whenever. May it be stress free thanks to de-cluttering first.

    • Melanie, we are seriously thinking of a japanese style dining table for our next home, aka floor cushions and a wide coffee table. I drool at the dining sets I see online as we have never owned one, but I think for our little family something simpler just makes sense. It is never too early to 365!

      • Jean,
        I love the idea of a Japanese-style table and cushions! And what little kids wouldn’t love that? My mom used to let us kids eat (once in a while) seated around the big coffee table in the living room, and it was so fun and casual. Here it’s just my husband and me, and we are super casual eaters. We usually eat in the kitchen (no table)! This is the first dining set we’ve had. I guess I bought it because the house had a small dining space. Maybe I thought I would “entertain.” Yeah, right. The few times I’ve had people over, we’ve gathered around….you guessed it….the big coffee table. LOL.

        My dining set wasn’t extremely expensive (not cheap, either!), but it is name brand, and I have to tell you that it is terrible quality. I also don’t care for the trendy bar-height. I’d take my enormous old $50 Craigslist coffee table over the $500 dining set any day. 🙂

        • I know the bar height has been trendy for a while. I think it’s a fun look considering aesthetics but not practical for everyone. We eat out at a restaurant a couple times a year that has those tables and chairs and I always feel like I am sitting on stilts about to fall over! I had to laugh at your entertaining comment. Yeah, we thought we would do that too, but life happens. I bet your dining set does come in handy when you do have people over. We are always so thankful for the dining bench when my sister and her husband and daughter comes over for dinner.

  9. A potential move is my biggest reason for starting the decluttering process. My husband will be 70 in a few years. We are both active and in relatively good health at the moment, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. Our house is a split level and I can imagine that at some point the stairs may become an issue for one or both of us. We don’t have a ton of outdoor work but if we were ill or frail, it could seem like a lot. It’s mostly the stairs that concern me. We love our neighbors (more than our house) so don’t really want to go. But I remember what a chore it was to move here in 2003. We had movers but ran out of boxes, so had to move the rest by carload, a couple of trips each, every day for a week. This was in addition to working full time. Exhausting! And we were younger then LOL. At least if our “hand is forced” now we have a headstart on our clutter. My husband got rid of a few magazines the other day without prompting from me! He looked through some other things of his, too. I was amazed! 🙂

    • Hi Peggy. A split-level house can be a nightmare if you have mobility issues. My mother fell and broke both a hip and a wrist. Their bedroom and bathroom were one level up so she spent a couple of months sleeping on a bed in the dining room, washing in the kitchen sink and having to use a commode in the dining room as a toilet. Ian’s parents lived in a 2-storey house and had to live in their own guest room because their only bathroom was on the main floor and their bedroom was upstairs. Needless to say, both this house and the one we are currently building have the future in mind – all essentials on one level, extra space in the bathrooms and wide doors and hallways.

      If you love your neighbors and can’t remodel the house to suit the future, you at least have time to look around for something more suitable in the neighborhood and move when you’re ready and not when you HAVE TO. My mother knew where she wanted to go and was quick to buy a one-level condo that she loves. Ian is looking forward to our new place and that is really helping him to realease things he won’t need going forward. Happy de-cluttering. WB

      • Hi Wendy,

        Out of nearly 300 homes in our neighborhood, all but a few are identical… So if we move, we will probably have to go somewhere else entirely 🙁

        That is great that you are planning to do wide doorways and hallways and extra space in bathrooms! And super that your husband is able to release more now that you have plans to build a new house 🙂

        If we have to move someday, we would like to find a modest sized rancher, maybe 800-1000 square feet? I’m not sure we would have the money to build, although it would be great to choose how to arrange space, etc. The area we like is expensive… land, building, taxes. Not sure about condo living either (although I love the look and ease of them) because the association fees are steep. We are fortunate to have our current home paid for. If we have to move, we would like to come out even or better if possible.

        Thank you for your encouragement! I really like hearing about your decluttering journey 🙂

        • Oh boy, you gals have it the nail right on the head in keeping mobility issues in mind. I never want a house with stairs again. Let’s here it for nice, open one-level ranchers!

          • Hi Michelle,

            If I could have exactly what I wanted, home-wise, it would be a rancher in a cul de sac with at least 25′ clearance on either side (from neighboring houses), 2 car garage, no basement, slightly sloped wide ramp to front door (with railing), siding with insulation, lots of windows, gas fireplace, 2 bedrooms, “walk-in” tub, 1 1/2 bath, 800-1000 square feet, foyer with coat closet, shaded back porch. I can dream, right? 🙂

          • Hi Peggy,

            I’m pretty sure that you want my parents’ house! They are looking to sell too. There might be a teeny tiny problem though – they are in Australia…
            Fingers crossed you find just what you want a little closer to home!

  10. How true this is Colleen, as I have told you before I started doing this (being ruthless) before Christmas and also my husband started doing the same. At the moment our eldest son and his girlfriend and her 3yr old are living with us though temporary and my husband has said that when they leave hopefully soon then we will have a massive cleanup and get rid of everything we don”t currently use. We don’t want our children to be left with a huge job to do if and when something happens to us suddenly.

  11. Wow, Wendy B, it has always been our dream to own a property, on a smaller scale like three or four acres. But my husband has decided to go back to school so it’s going to have to be a much more condensed version. On this last Sunday we took a drive out to a rural location to get out of the house and saw a man mending his fences on his ranch. My husband and I mused that he spends much of his time mending fences, even on weekends. We still want to have a couple of milking goats and a small flock of chickens someday, maybe some bees if we can find a place zoned for that someday. He grew up with farm animals and we had chickens in our old home and we miss that. The chickens were like pets that lay eggs. I was so sad to rehome them.

    • I was just reading the comments above. We hate stairs too! I love the single level houses we have lived in even if they need more roof insulation. I spent my childhood in two story houses and my adolescence in second level apartments, never again! It seems like all the new house sites are two story only here in my locale. It saves on property footprint and roof materials and insulation, so I get that it’s more cost effective. I feel so smashed in when I am in two story homes, or there is too much air space with twenty foot celings and an open loft. I would love a little one story cottage on an acre though.
      Our last house and this place are both on residential corners which my husband and I swear to eachother we will never do again. Way too much thru-traffic and constant noise. Cul de sacs are the best of you can find one.

      • Jean, my husband and I are boat people, but we always talk about finding a property somewhere and building a little cabin. We made a rough design last week and figure we could get by with a 20 x 20 ft cabin if it had a loft built in. With two boys, your cottage might need to be a little bigger. Fun to dream. 🙂

        • Wow, Melanie, you guys are awesome to consider that. I love the small house blogs. I like 1,000 square feet ideally. I think we could make it in a smaller space but I like emptiness and that feeling of free space. 20×20 seems about right for two people. It is so fun to dream! Like several others here have said though, the best laid plans sometimes go out the window so it’s good for us to be flexible. In the meantime it’s fun to plan.

    • Yes, Jean, property maintenance is a consideration. Out this way the term ‘acreage’ seems to mean 10 acres of lawn with a McMansion in the middle. Before we came here we met a man who told us he spent 12 hours a week mowing! That’s nuts. Even with most of our 11 acres in trees and marsh, the part that requires mowing (roadsides and a firebreak around the house) takes up more than enough time not to mention the equipment. The new place will be 4 acres, mostly treed with just enough open area for parking and a garden and a raspberry patch!

      • That sounds amazing, Wendy B! I have never understood people whose only use for their land is as a status symbol. Why would someone spend so much time mowing when some animal could do that just fine for them? My mind just sees things differently I guess.
        So it sounds like you will have your own little spot in the “woods”, and with raspberry cane too. We love berries! We tried to grow them here in Phoenix but even with the best varieties they just don’t do well in the heat. We drive up north to Payson in August every year to pick berries and escape the heat. The first two weeks of the month blackberries are in season and the last two there are black raspberries. The locals we meet always think we are from the area because we know where to go. We eat them out of hand and save the rest for ice cream. These berries my sweetheart buys for the boys are just not the same.

        • Hi Jean. The Payson area is gorgeous and we briefly considered that a possible retirement location but I seem to keep wanting to get back to Idaho where my family homesteaded.

          Berries! Berries! Berries! I long for the days when I can hike and pick wild Idaho huckleberries!

          • Payson is a nice break from the valley but I admit it doesn’t compare to the rainforests of northern California.
            I actually have never been to Idaho but we will pass through on our trip back. My father lived there briefly as a child and my mother went to college there, they both have fond memories of it. I have an uncle who was raised there. My mother-in-law has such fun stories about berry picking in Ontario, which is so similar to much of Idaho. She picked the wild huckleberries, pin cherries and saskatoons. They had bill berries (like blueberries) but no blackberries. If they hiked the swamp they could find red raspberries. She had two run-in with bears twice picking berries but thankfully they were not confrontational. Better chances of avoiding that in your own backyard.

      • Oh dear, that is a lot of mowing! I would definitely need some goats. I don’t care for yard work. 🙂

  12. Since I live where there are winters, I dislike high ceilings too. It’s a waste of heat (“heat rises”). 8′ ceilings used to be the standard and I think that’s the best!

    • I have never understood the high ceiling fascination. I’m with you, Peggy.

    • I like a good 9 foot ceiling, some of the older homes have them. Anything over that is just a major waste of energy. I have lived with 8 foot ceilings and one rental with a vaulted ceiling in the great room. What I really don’t get is the vaulted ceilings, they are just unattractive and cheap looking to me in most houses. I guess that makes me a ceiling snob, unfortunately. And it does make a huge difference in the winter, Peggy, even in milder climates.

  13. Great post Colleen and I enjoyed all the comments too.
    I always feel such positives come from ‘having your hand forced’
    Even with the diagnosis of health issues, being able to let go of stuff and embrace a new lifestyle is far more invigorating than debilitating. Good luck to all those downsizing 🙂
    Cheers

    • Thanks Wendy, and I agree, so many times it takes the forced hand to make one get a wriggle on. It is too bad though if those health issues make it very difficult to achieve what you need too. Best to be decluttered before the $&*# hits the fan.

  14. Colleen, as we are still in the process of moving (and in rather different environment, too, not sure wether to call this up-or downsizing… 😉 ), I can second that every single bit less makes a difference. I am happy that we already did quite a good job decluttering over the past years and am sure that we will continue to do so.

    • Also, I think that such events that “force” your hand always bring on a new perspective on stuff, so I bet they inspire decluttering even in the most decluttered person. Such events can turn into positive, inspiring experiences if it is only a little decluttering or organizing (also in other areas like finances or so) due to lifestyle-change – while they are just plain overwhelming if you have to deal with too many things you left unattended for too long.

  15. Hi, Colleen. Your post is a good wake-up call for ditherers who might be paralysed by their stuff. I like to ask myself these questions:

    What can I remove from my home today that will make a move or right-sizing easier and for which my future (and older) self will be glad about?

    What space can I open up in my home today?

    • Oh Nicole V, you are fabulous. Right-sizing instead of downsizing who else could have come up with that. I love it. You really need to become a regular post writer for my blog. Are you up for it? I have a a crappy day and this comment has made it much better. Thanks.

      • Well, I second that, Colleen! Nicole V definitely has a way with words. Let’s see….so far this week we’ve nominated Moni for book reviewer so the rest of us don’t have to read anymore, and now Nicole can guest blog for you so you can work on your sock potatoes. LOL. 🙂 (I couldn’t resist.)

        Sorry you had a crappy day! I hope you have a great weekend!

  16. Hi, Colleen. You’re welcome. I’m sorry to hear that you had a crappy day.

    Thank you for asking me to write for your blog. I’m flattered and would like to give it a go. 🙂