Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Downsizing "Plan"

While I still have a long ways to go, I have to admit that when it comes to downsizing, I’m very lucky.  I won’t have to work too hard at reducing my “stuff” to a pile no larger than a small car.  I won’t have to embrace the “100 Things” concept or worry about how many plates I have, how many bungie cords, or hand tools, or fabric bins.
I am, you see, going to be an Empty Nester.
Don’t get me wrong.  After I moved last August I FREAKED OUT over the amount of stuff I had.  It’s amazing how much stuff pours out of your closets and into boxes when you move.  It doesn’t look like much, until you have to lovingly (or not so much) wrap the item, and put it into a box, and seal the box, and load the box, and unload the box, and unseal the box, and put the contents away.   Oh. My. God.  What am I going to do with all this *#@*$ stuff?
Since we moved, I purchased a label maker and have been obsessively going through my entire garage, and all of my closets, touching everything I have, and putting all of it into categorized and labeled bins.  I have already donated or thrown away 27 boxes of stuff!  I make it a habit to have a donation bag, handy by the door, and I empty it every couple of weeks.  I have also sold quite a few items on craig’s lovely and oh-so-practical little list.
Now I have a lot less stuff but I am still far, far, from the minimalist I will need to be; to fit into My Empty Nest.  But at least I have a plan…
I have two children.  My daughter is 18, already in college, and will graduate in January of 2015.  Our goal is for her to transition from a part time to a full time employee, where she works now, once she graduates.  She can then start to build up her savings (again) and move into her own apartment when I finally move into my Tiny House.  My son is 16, and will be starting college this summer.  (Yes, I know it’s early but he’s ready, and brilliant, and it’s cheaper that way.)  I don’t have a firm plan for how he’ll transition from my house to his own but a dorm may be involved or a subsidized apartment. (Subsidized by me, that is.)
Less Stuff?  Check.
Organize what’s left?  Check.
An active plan for continual downsizing progress?  Check.
Timeline for transition? Check.
So, what’s left of my brilliant plan?
Picture this.  What’s left of the contents of my house will be divided between the three of us!  My children won’t have to search high and low for rugs, and bookshelves, and shower curtains, and furniture for their first apartments.  They won’t need to “invest” in camping gear, it’s already comfortably resting in the blue bin labeled “CAMPING”.  (The bin may live with my daughter but it will be shared amongst us all.) No money will be needed for gardening tools and garden décor, it’s in the green bin clearly and cheerfully labeled “GARDEN”.   And believe me when I tell you that I have enough kitchen stuff for the three of us!  Despite the fact that “collecting stuff” is a bad word in our house,  my daughter also has dozens of bins and boxes of her own, ready to augment mine, and outfit her own chef’s kitchen.  (she’s a Culinary Professional)  I even have enough bathroom towels, and tweezers, and scissors to go around.  (oh wait…..I have 37 pairs of scissors in the scissor bin….maybe I’ll have to downsize a few of them after all….)
So, you see, I’m lucky.  I’m using this time of my life to free myself of stuff AND help my children at the same time!
Selfish?  Maybe.
Brilliant?  I want to think so….

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