Saturday, March 24, 2012

Downsizing, the New Family Buzz Word

My wife is the organizer in our family.  When we made the decision to relocate to the Midwest almost one year ago, she immediately went into "downsizing" mode.  My children and I are on the other end of the spectrum.  We like to save things.  Once our home sold, we were all forced to follow my wife's lead and let go of things.  Here's some downsizing ideas we use to simplify our lives:

  1. Utilize free services for letting go of toxic materials in your garage.  This keeps the environment safe.
  2. Go on a one year spending fast.  This is not easy, however, if you only purchase items you need rather than frivolous wants, you will avoid out of control spending.
  3. Make a list of all the recurring bills you have each month and cut out anything you can live without.
  4. Find an accountability partner and call them any time you are tempted to buy something you don't need.  Do the same for your accountability partner when they get the urge to splurge.
  5. Change your routine.  Instead of shopping, replace this activity with a new habit, like exercising.
When I was reserving a moving truck, I went with one that was not big enough to move everything we accumulated for nearly 23 years living in the same house.  We had multiple garage sales and donated many items we did not need.  Friends and family members helped us with our downsizing efforts.  In the end, we left behind all our junk and our friends hauled it off to the dump on our behalf.  We had 2,400 pounds of stuff!  Yes, downsizing is our new buzz word.   Our goal is to be debt free.  Living in the Midwest makes this goal more realistic, however, it's not enough unless we work together as a family to make downsizing a priority.

How are you doing in the downsizing department?  Is there anything in your life you wish to cut back on?  Join me and maybe we can both hold each other accountable.  Your comments are welcome below.

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