Downsizing by Design

May your home be filled with fresh air and light.

May your home be filled with fresh air and light.

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” ~ Steve Jobs

Last evening, my guest on the Awakening to Awareness Radio Show was Deanne Marie. Deanne is a classic Baby Boomer reinvention story. With an undergraduate degree in Journalism, a J.D. degree, and a successful 19-year career as a litigation and corporate attorney, Deanne finally listened to the voices in her head that were repeatedly telling her to follow her passion and do what she loved. She retired from practicing law in February 2013 to begin her entrepreneurial journey, focusing on interior and “transformational” design.

Based in Las Vegas, Deanne provides virtual downsizing services to ‘empty nesters,’ people approaching retirement, and those who have decided that their lifestyle warrants smaller living spaces.

Deanne shared her thoughts on what downsizing means, what some of the signs are that it’s time to downsize, and the importance of being prepared in advance of taking any downsizing action. She talked about the significance of holding onto things with sentimental value, and how to rationalize and cost-justify letting go of other possessions.

I asked Deanne to identify what she believes are key considerations when planning a downsizing and she shared:

  1. Have a lifestyle vision – for your family, friends, and personal interests. Where do you want to go? After all, this is your dream you’re creating.
  2. If you’re going for a “fresh start,” get a feel for the type and size of space you want. Measure, measure, measure! And be realistic in what you intend to bring into your new space.
  3. Give thought to your quality of life needs and wants. What are your social, cultural, weather, and physical requirements? What proximities are essential?

If this topic interests you or you know someone who might benefit from listening to what Deanne shared, download the show podcast for free. You can listen to it at your convenience.

23 thoughts on “Downsizing by Design

  1. Good info….my problem? I should be thinking about downsizing, but I have the George Carlin syndrome. I go to flea markets, and see stuff I want. Some I purchase, most I don’t because our space isn’t big enough. So I want to move to a bigger space so I can buy more stuff that I really don’t need.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Ummm, I’m thinking this may not be the outcome you really want, Dennie? :) If inclined, how might you shift from George Carlin syndrome into a more practical (?) perspective? This shared with a bit of a smile… Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes. I hope yours was enjoyable.

      • You are right, oh, wise one. And honestly, I do want to simplify. I know we don’t need more stuff.
        I’m stuffed. Ate lots yesterday, and still going. Back to the gym on Monday.
        d

      • I am not the “wise one,” Dennie. I simply pass along an amalgam of thoughts and wisdom accumulated over time. If how I package and share it resonates with you or other readers, then all is good in my mind. Say hi to the gym for me, tomorrow. :)

  2. Pingback: Write on Wednesday # 16 | iBourgie

  3. I’ve been actively refraining from buying more household stuff, especially things that are solely decorative, for some years now, because we just have too much stuff! So much junk. Even clothes. I haven’t bought new clothes for years now, because I still have so many still in good condition, in fact some new shirts still in their packaging. I’m determined to wear them out before I ever buy new stuff again. The same for books, for some years now I have stopped buying new books and make use of the public library instead. I have asked friends not to give us things anymore for birthdays and Christmas simply because I’m fed up with the amount of things in the house, and they understand because they have the same problem haha… so now we gift foodstuffs to one another, like biscuits and cakes.

    This is a very interesting and informative post, and so is the podcast. Thanks for sharing!

    • Deep bow here, Halim. It is good that you have chosen to be practical when it comes to purchasing and holding on to possessions. I like your idea of asking friends not to go overboard with birthday and Christmas gifts. I started making similar requests many years ago. We just don’t need so much!

      Thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. It’s a pleasure to share useful and thought-provoking information/ideas. I have Deanne to thank for those mentioned in this post. :)

  4. Great topic. We downsized from 4200 sq. ft. (in NJ) to 1800 sq. ft. (in MD) to our current 1100 sq. ft. villa in Florida. So. Much. Better!

    To effectively clear clutter, we changed our perspective. Instead of asking: “Would I maybe possibly someday want to have this object, article, or knick knack in my life?” We started asking: “If this object, article, or knick knack had not appeared in my life . . . would I have missed it?” If no . . . we let it go, creating space for what matters, and simplifying our life.

    Hope you had a fun Thanksgiving . . . fill with all good things (and NO clutter). :D

    • Our lives track more closely with your periodic disclosures. We ought to consider trading stories and experiences some day. :) I like your potential disposal criterion. Simplifying is big in my book.

      Appreciate your wishes. Thanksgiving was low key, by choice and design. Still, it was filled with goods things and if you only knew how little clutter is a part of my life… Hope your day was enjoyable.

      • The BEST book I’ve ever read (in terms of changing my life for the better):
        Simplify Your Life, by Elaine St. James.

        http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/simplify-your-life/

        Reading it caused me to re-evaluate ALL the choices that we’d made and enabled us to make BETTER choices from that point forward.

        True wealth has nothing to do with the clothes we wear, the car we drive, or the size of our house. True wealth means having enough money . . . AND TIME . . . to do the things we love . . . with the people we love.

        When we spend all (or more than) we earn . . . we can’t get off the merry-go-round no matter how dizzy we feel.

      • This is an appreciated share, Nancy. Thank you for augmenting this (and other) thread(s) with a valuable resource.

        Creating the “…time to do the things we love..with the people we love” is so very important. Your personal re-evaluation exercise is one others may want to consider.

  5. Downsizing is something I have in the back of my mind, although we aren’t anywhere close to actually doing it. Once the kids are out on their own, it’ll be more of a reality. Acquiring stuff is a natural tendency of ours, but visits to houses of older relatives (who also have this tendency…only for many more years) causes me to come home and do some serious weeding out of possessions.

    • And that is often when people create the time to assess their space needs. I’m smiling because many in my immediate family are ‘collectors.’ I have moved so many times that I learned the value of accumulating less by default. :) You’ll address it when you believe the need and time are right.

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