Downsizing to reduce clutter and to live a more joyful life!

A few years ago my boyfriend and I started a Project Downsize in an effort to reduce the visual noise and outright clutter in our space. We wanted our home to be a reflection of the creative and easy lifestyle we desire to live.

As someone who constantly fights the battle between a home that feels cozy and filled with all the things I love (verging on hoarding) and a home that feels neat, tidy and organized, this was a challenge for me and all of my motivation quickly melted back into the couch. The timing also coincided with a full year of stagnant energy. If you lived through 2017... I'm sure you felt it too.

Viva, Project Downsize! 2018 edition.

These days we are feeling much more "unstuck" and quickly picking up speed on manifesting a few of our dreams. The original Project Downsize surrounded comfortable living in our current home, however, this time around we are shooting for a new dream. Ultimately, our goal is to live for a period of time in a tiny house or park model home on a 5 acre partially wooded lot while we build a small home that is tailored to us. Around it will bloom a herbal and vegetarian homestead (not vegan, because...chickens), a family, and creative spaces for both of us. A studio for me and a woodworking/auto shop for Will. A simpler life full of rich experiences.

It is becoming much more common these days to seek a simpler way to live, even if it doesn't involve "going tiny". I think on some level we are all looking to define ourselves by something other than our 9-5 career and enjoy this one magical life in a way that is meaningful by our own standards and not just the societal norm. Some may think we are crazy, but that's's our own kind of crazy.

The timeline for this project is to be "complete" by the end of Summer 2018. By complete, I simply mean that we will have all of our belongings pared down and ready for a tiny living lifestyle even if we aren't ready to move yet. With the exception of some furniture to sell and maybe some keepsakes to store, by September 1st we want to be ready to pack up and go.

Here's what is on the project list so far...
  • Go through ALL clothes and list anything that hasn't been worn in a year for sale 
  • Go through All accessories and list items no longer worn for sale 
  • Sell all kitchen appliances that are no longer used or are in need of an upgrade
  • Go through shoes and sell any that are no longer worn but gently used 
  • Develop a capsule wardrobe (and determine if any key pieces are still needed)
  • Remove all boxes from the attic and go through them. Box keepsakes up for storage
  • Clear out the guest bedroom closet and use it only to store the items that are for sale
  • Scan all important documents and store on an external drive and on dropbox
  • Donate all books that I have read or no longer desire to read to the free library
  • Clean out and dismantle the storage shed in the backyard
  • Organize my computer and dropbox files and delete anything no longer needed
  • Pare down any items that we have more than one version of...pick the favorite. 
  • Make a list of all furniture that will go with us and which items will be sold/given
  • In June, hold a garage sale and give away or donate all items that did not sell
We've gotten a headstart on a few things...
  • We've upgraded to an Instant Pot, so the crock pot was given away
  • Will has sold a lot of his team jackets and miscellaneous gear that he no longer uses
  • We fixed the furnace so the radiant heater is off to a new home
  • Several clothing items have already been listed for sale on ebay and offer up
  • I'm finally getting around to listing several thrifted items from storage in my etsy shop

With downsizing and planning for a homestead comes a desire to reduce waste and learn how to make a lot of your own food and consumables. I'll be posting more soon about the simple changes we are making and skills we are learning in preparation for a homestead lifestyle. 

I can already tell this is going to be an amazing yet trying process. When I feel resistance I will try and focus on the freedom we will feel in the end when we are surrounded by only the things we truly enjoy and the clothes we feel good in. It sounds like heaven!

We are hoping to inspire others through this process, so I will be writing posts about our progress and about the reasons we are choosing to adjust our lifestyle. Even if you don't have a desire to go tiny, I hope you will join us in sifting through the items or emotions that may be holding you back from the lifestyle you desire, or even to learn a few new skills you have been meaning to add to your repertoire. Please use #ProjectDownsize2018 to share what you are up to. We would love to see and share.

Ok, that's it for now! We'll see you soon with an update.