Why would someone want to get rid of everything and start over?
L..I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N – that’s why.
Stuff, stuff, and more stuff are what we’re about nowadays. You live five minutes from work but you have a car to keep up with your peers.
You live alone but you’re renting out a two bedroom apartment which is full of things that you really don’t need. Maybe the reason you got the two bedrooms was very noble. You wanted a bigger space so that your guests would have their own room and feel comfortable. But how many times a year do you have visitors stay over? And should that really be a reason to be paying more rent?
Less stuff means a smaller space to rent meaning your expenses go down or you’re able to save up and travel whenever you want to. One of the reasons people stay in a place
Less stuff means there’s less space being eaten up in your head. The space we’re in tends to affect our state of mind and productivity.
Pick the brain blog states the following about clutter: ..many researchers have proven that physical clutter at home or at the workplace affects productivity in a negative way. A cluttered desk or office can negatively affect your mood, resilience, and ability to work productively, and disorder creates stress which can cause low moods. Very cluttered homes can provoke emotional and mental distress, mainly because its occupants feel like they have no control over their spaces and therefore lives
Less stuff means it’s easier to clean your house. Ever been to those houses that are cluttered and it looks like it would take forever to clean just the sitting room? You get tired just thinking about it.
Your reason for getting rid of everything may not be romantic. You may have been fired, gotten a divorce, just gotten diagnosed with a disease that’s costly to treat and it’s forcing you to downsize. It doesn’t have to feel like your power has been taken away from you.
In fact, getting rid of stuff and starting over again can make you feel like you’re taking back the reigns of your life.
How to get rid of stuff in stages
It’s easier to get rid of items systematically such as room by room or section by section of your house. The kitchen and your bedroom should be last because those are the areas you use daily. As you’re going through each room, you can put sticky notes on the things that you’re going to sell, what you’re going to give to goodwill and what you may rent out. Nothing is going to storage. Nothing is going to be kept at family’s’ or friends’ places till you come back for it or send for it.
If you’re starting with the sitting room, you most likely do not need a VCR, DVD player if you still have those. How many times do you watch the cassettes that you have? If you have family tapes, you can get them converted so that you can store them on your laptop or online. Sell the TV and sell the music system.
Most of the stuff in your sitting room should be sold; the coffee table, couch, wall unit, the curtains, everything should go. The photographs may be harder because of sentimental value. Get a professional photographer to digitize them and you can have an online album which you can easily access through any of your online devices.
PlayStation players, this will probably be very hard for you, but can’t you get a second hand PlayStation wherever you’re moving to? You don’t need to lug it around with your stack of games. Sell them or give them away.
There may be quality items like your dining room table set that you would like to find a good home that you could give as gifts to family, friends, someone that’s fallen on hard times or a couple that’s starting out. You will feel amazing and it will be a great investment in your relationship.
Repeat this process throughout the rest of the house and give yourself weekly deadlines for when stuff should be sold or given away otherwise you’ll just end up with piles of stuff in each room that will probably make you anxious and give up on the whole process.
Is one of the hardest rooms in the house to tackle. You’re going to have to be ruthless here. Remove everything that you haven’t worn in the last two months. That special dinner dress that you’ve been waiting to wear at a special occasion, throw it in the pile. Your wedding dress? In the pile. It’s not like you’re going to get married twice in the same dress and your daughters can buy their own wedding dresses.
As for shoes, do you really need more than one pair of sandals, one pair of sneakers, two pairs of work shoes and one pair of formal shoes for dinners? Those are 5 pairs of shoes. Everything else can go.
Keep items that you can cross pair multiple times over so that it seems like you have many clothes when you really don’t.
Some minimalists propose noting what you wear for a couple of weeks and putting those clothes aside and then discarding everything else.
You could also go the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg route.
If you’re moving in the middle of a lease, you can sublet your apartment with a couple of items. This might help you to get a tenant faster and you could eventually sell the items in the apartment to the new tenants.
One of the advantages of giving stuff to goodwill it you can claim a charitable deduction for your goodwill items.
Should you sell your home?
Just thinking about it probably freaks you out. You worked so hard to get that home and you probably never thought that you’d have to sell it.
You might prefer to rent it out but who’s going to manage the tenants, who’s going to handle maintenance? How will you make sure squatters won’t take over your home? Will the house be managed the way you want in your absence? What if you go for long periods without a tenant or they keep defaulting on payments or damage the house before leaving without clearing their balance?
You’re trying to start over afresh, without any baggage and such issues will make it hard to do this. Selling your home means you will have money to move comfortably and even buy another home wherever you decide to resettle.
Where can I sell my stuff?
- Church Newsletter
- Garage sale
- Post what you’re selling or advertise your garage sale on a notice board at a popular supermarket/ shopping center/ gym/ sports club.
- Real estate agents.
How to start over in life
As you’re getting rid of stuff, you’re going to have to get rid of restricting ideas as well. You’re going to have to accept being thought of as odd and know that there are times where you will feel the pressure to keep up with the Joneses but keep in mind what you’d be trading to keep up.
You’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way as you figure out what works for you. You may realize that living in an RV isn’t for you. Perhaps you’d prefer living in a studio apartment or renting an Airbnb. There’s nothing wrong with that. All minimalists are not created equal.
You’re doing this for you. You’re selling your home and moving to a hospice for you. You’re getting rid of everything because it’s the healing you need after your divorce. Maybe you’re trying to get out of debt or out of depression. Whatever the reason, make this work for you.