What is “downsizing”?

Downsizing is a process of weeding out the old, unused stuff taking up all of your space. This process can be easy or difficult. It is easy when the items are clearly not useful anymore. For instance, when the kids were little, you put up a gate in the doorway so that they could be confined to one area. This was usuallly done for safety reasons. However, kids grow up and now that they are old enough, it is not really necessary to hang onto that gate anymore. Common sense tells us to let the gate go. This will free up your space. Not only that, but because the gate is still in good condition, it may be useful to someone else. So consider donating the gate to someone in need or selling it at a local thrift store specializing in kids stuff. It will make you feel good about helping someone who currently has the same problem you experienced.

Sometimes, though, the process can be difficult. The items make us remember the past, so that getting rid of the item can feel like betrayal. These feelings of betrayal come with their own baggage of emotions. They cause negative emotions such as saddness, anger, and guilt. But they also cause positive emotions such as joy and peace. Pay attention to these emotions. I am Christian, so that when these negative emotions come, I tell the Lord about them. I ask Him to take care of them and to make the seperation process easier. I thank Him for listening to me and giving me peace about the past experience associated with the item. Then I get rid of the item. I usually throw away the stuff that causes the negative emotions. I don’t want to remember them anymore, and I don’t want to pass on my bad experiences to anyone else.

But not all items carry a bag of negative emotions. For instance, when handling old Christmas music books, I can still remember the joy of the whole family joining in songs celebrating the season. I want others to have the same joy I felt. So in this instance, I want to release the music to those who would like what I enjoyed. I first look to family, then to friends and neighbors. For me it is an added bonus if I can make a little money getting rid of the items with positive emotions attached. So I plan for a garage sale, combining other items that may bring joy to others.

So this is downsizing. It is letting go of the items that are taking up space in your house, garage, basement, or storage area. Downsizing can be daunting. It comes with emotions, both good and bad. Allowing the past to remain in the past brings peace of mind. Passing on the joy of our old stuff brings a sense of relief because you have shared with others what you treasured. God looks favorably on all acts of kindness.

If you are having trouble parting with the past, call Sharon. I do understand because I have been through this same process. I will go with you on the path leading to freedom and peace of mind.

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