One of my goals for this year was to downsize and stop hoarding so much shit. I put on my vision board at the very beginning of the year a picture that displays the process of downsizing, knowing that I would be moving to an apartment around this time of the year.
Growing up I have always had a lot of stuff. That doesn't mean it was nice stuff, but it was stuff. I watched my parents hold onto things for a really long time. Even things that were broken, or that we didn't have space for.
I watched my friends parents do the same things, holding onto to pieces of things that aren't completely functional but are somehow so attached to our lives that we cannot get rid of them.
My mom would always complain about clutter but we would hold on to EVERYTHING, from school projects, to dishes, to broken Santa Clauses, old toys that no one played with anymore, jars that could someday be used for canning, a million different serving dishes, and basically anything else you could ever need along with all sorts of furniture that hasn't been used in years.
As I have gotten older and moved so frequently, I have recognized that I am falling into the same old patterns of my parents and the other adult role models I had growing up-- I am holding onto so much shit that is just so unnecessary.
I have moved four times over the last two years, part of it is being a college aged student but part of it is being a semi-restless soul. Moving would cause me to downsize, and then accumulate more and then downsize again.
Moving into my own apartment over a year ago allowed me to have space for a lot of things that I wouldn't have otherwise held onto. Then I moved into a house that had more space than I could have ever imagined and I kept holding onto to things that I really didn't need any more but couldn't seem to get rid of.
Once Alec and I decided where we were going to move I decided it was time to take a good hard look at my possessions and I needed to downsize and get rid of a bunch of stuff.
There is no reason for me to have three- four person tents. I do not need to have a coffee machine, espresso machine, and French press. As much as I love keeping all of my pillows, we don't need ten pillows when it is just Alec and I living in the apartment. We only need one set of dishes, we don't need all sorts of tupperware when we can never find the lids anyways, I don't need three bookshelves full of books that I have already read and will probably never pick up again.
It is time to downsize. I don't want to live in a space full of clutter and stuff that doesn't truly serve any purpose in my life.
I have kept a lot of stuff that I will use, like sporting equipment, backpacking and camping supplies, and art that I have made over the years. But I have gotten better at storing all of it so it doesn't take over and rule my life.
Living in a one bedroom apartment, there is not a ton of room for keeping golf clubs, skis, backpacks, tents, seasonal decorations, craft supplies, blankets, pillows, and all of the other miscellaneous stuff so I have become like the queen of storage.
My advice to anyone who is trying to downsize is to be realistic with yourself and the amount of possessions you need. As Americans we have this weird obsession with having lots of material belongings even though they aren't even like nice things all that often. Be real with yourself and why you are holding onto things. Ask yourself if you really need it or will use it. Ask yourself how you will store it. Ask where it will live. And lastly, buy plastic bins for everything. I swear, they make organization and storage for clutter and crap so much easier than I could have ever imagined! I am so thankful that over the years I have been investing in plastic bins because now that I live in the apartment I actually feel like everything is organized and that we have downsized even if it was only a little bit. (When I say organized, I mean it is all just thrown into a bin, one day it will actually be organized.)
Someday I will get closer to my dream of being a minimalist, right now I am just focused on reversing my hoarding habits.