Do you need to downsize your life?
I recently purchased an item of furniture via Craigslist from a woman in a nearby town. In the course of our interaction, she stated that she was trying to get rid of furniture because she was moving to a smaller apartment. She stated that she was trying to “downsize”.
Do you ever sit back and think about the amount of “stuff” that you owned five or ten years ago? Most of us had a whole lot less. My parents dropped me off at college with enough stuff to partially fill the back seat of a car. By the time I left college, I needed a pickup truck and had to leave some stuff in storage. After a year of marriage, Mrs. Stew and I moved across town and made two trips with a small pickup truck pulling a small trailer. Two years ago, we moved across the country and needed a 24′ Penske moving truck. I was just thinking the other day that if we needed to move again, we would probably be looking at a 30-footer.
Granted, our family has grown and our living space has grown. There are some legitimate reasons to acquire more stuff. But what is your bottom line? What is the least amount of stuff on which you could survive? Most of us have far more than we really need – and there is no shame in that as long as we remember from Whence it came. Most of us are blessed.
I once spent time in a foreign country where families of 8, 10 and even 12 were living in huts the size of my kitchen made of pressboard and corrugated steel. They had one bed in which the took turns sleeping in shifts. They had no yards, animals ran freely through the village – yet they survived. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a woman who is trying to sell the most expensive house in the world. It looks like a nice place to visit, but can you imagine the headache?
Sometimes, Mrs. Stew and I dream about our ideal lifestyle when the kids leave home. She envisions a loft in downtown Denver or Chicago. Since our retirement is going to be pretty sparse, I talk about becoming over-the-road truckers, taking turns at the wheel and spending our nights in a semi-tractor bunk. We both sometimes talk about getting a little cabin way up in the mountains. In a way, they all sound good because they all sound simple.
However, we are not waiting until our kids leave home to downsize our lives, we are starting now. Do you ever downsize? Or are you too busy keeping up with the Joneses?
Article by Stew
Photo by dno1967