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The Lowdown on Downsizing

george2More than four million retirees moved to a new home last year, and for many of them, that move involved downsizing—part of a process that necessarily involves getting rid of stuff.  Often a lot of stuff.

The New York Times recently ran an interesting piece about the joys and traumas involved with deciding what to do with a lifetime of possessions.  That purging “typically triggers a range of emotions,” the author wrote, ranging from joy to pain.

“The earlier you do it the better, physically, socially and financially,” Steven Sass, a research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College was quoted as saying.

In my view, downsizing is about so much more than jettisoning stuff.   It’s also about habits, relationships, identities and old expectations.  The secret is to release MORE than you think you need to—things that will no longer serve you well regardless of how well they served you in the past—so that you have some OPEN space for new things to come in.   Releasing “just enough” is like draining the bathtub to just below the rim.   As soon as you get in it overflows AND there still isn’t room for anything new.

Read the full article here.

4 responses to “The Lowdown on Downsizing”

  1. George, I’m going through that with my office and with my life, weeding out those old contacts that are gone or no longer have any connection to me. I am cleaning out the house and as you know creating new forms of housing for people like us who should downsize our homes but don’t want to downsize our lives.

  2. Carol Buchanan says:

    Hi George, Having just gone thru a move and a downsizing I realize how well you hit the nail on the head. I thought I had done a good job at the other end but after moving in realized I had only dealt with the tip of the iceberg. Would recommend, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo to anyone about to make a move. Carol Buchanan

  3. I enjoy reading your articles, everything from the subject matter, down to your writing style, which makes the reader comfortable with you. I especially liked this article as I am in constant downsizing mode. Feel free to use this anywhere you like. It’s always good to see you.

  4. Carol Buchanan says:

    Hi George, Having just gone thru a more and a downsizing I realize how well you hit the nail on the head. I thought I had done a good job at the other end but after moving in realized I had only dealt with the tip of the iceberg. Would recommend, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo to anyone about to make a move or simply feeling overwhelmed by “Stuff.” Carol Buchanan

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