Thanks to Gene Ramsey from www.downsizingdad.com for such a great article!
4 Downsizing Tips for People Joining the Minimalist Movement
The minimalist living movement is trending because people feel overwhelmed by clutter, hectic schedules, and work. If you’re looking to join the minimalist movement, the best way to start is to downsize. Our tips will help you get started.
1. Downsize Your Media Collection
Everyone seems to have that one drawer or entertainment center cabinet that is full of DVDs, video games, and a few wayward VHS tapes. You’ve probably kept them, along with your most favorite CDs, because they have sentimental value. But, you can keep these items in a new digital format that does not require any physical storage space in your home. You won’t need to store bulky cases anymore, and you won’t have to worry about your favorite electronic items getting scratched or dusty when you go digital.
You can do the same thing with your old photographs. Check out these tips from CNET for scanning and archiving your old printed photos.
Downsizing isn’t just about cleaning out your current clutter; it’s also about preventing clutter from building again. So, the next time your favorite movie is available on DVD, purchase a digital copy of it. You also can use streaming services to watch your old favorites or even visit your local library to check out movies in a variety of formats.
2. Clean Out Your Book Collection
We also hang on to our favorite books, but we despise cluttered bookcases and end tables full of dusty novels. Even if you’re a die-hard printed book reader who can’t get on board with audiobooks or digital books, you can work toward the minimalist life by donating or selling books that don’t have sentimental value.
Keep a few of your most dog-eared, favorite copies but allow yourself to part with the rest. Then, give digital audiobooks a try the next time you’re tempted to buy a printed book. You just may surprise yourself and enjoy hearing your favorite author or actor read the book to you. You also can borrow books on CD for free from a library or use their services to download audiobooks to your mobile device.
3. Digitize Your Documents
Next, downsize your mountains of documents. From tax files to healthcare information, your documents consume filing cabinets, desk drawers, storage boxes, and other areas that clutter your home and prevent you from achieving minimalism.
Fortunately, digital technologies make it easier than ever to reduce the amount of paper and wasted storage space in our homes. Scan documents to your computer or store them in the cloud. Say goodbye to bulging folders and loose papers on countertops and home desks when you digitize your documents.
4. Assess What You’ve Used in the Last Year
It can be difficult to look at items around your home that you know you paid good money for and then throw them out, donate them, or sell them at a fraction of the price. One way to help yourself get over this downsizing hurdle is to assess what you’ve used in the last year. If you have not used an item for a year, you’ll likely never use it. Stop hanging on to books you haven’t read, clothes you haven’t worn, and other items that you do not use.
It’s especially helpful to apply this technique to clothing. Regularly clean out your closets and get rid of clothing no one wears. Try hanging your hangers backward and turning them around as you wear clothing so you know what you wear regularly and what to purge. If you have young children, don’t put away clothing that they’ve outgrown. Start a storage bin labeled by size if you need hand-me-downs for younger children, and donate or sell clothes you won’t need.
You can become part of the minimalist living movement if you start downsizing. Begin with your media collection, photographs, and books. Then, digitize documents and purge items that have not been used for a year.
Thanks to Gene Ramsey from DownsizingDad.com for this article. Visit his website for more information on downsizing and to stay up to date on his book launch!