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Downsizing to Reduce Anxiety


We never realize how many possessions we have until it is time to move them. It can be overwhelming to deal with a large amount of household items all at one time. By downsizing on a regular basis, you can reduce the number of belongings you have, and decrease the anxiety that comes with being overwhelmed.

We are collectors of things for many reasons. Tools, linens, Knick knacks, grandma’s dishes, clothes, books, toys, etc. We collect items over time that we just know we will need for something down the line. Pretty soon we possess so many things that we don’t even know what we have anymore. Some people have lived in their homes for 10, 20, 30 years or more. Imagine the number of belongings that accumulate over that amount of time.

In 2014 I moved to a new state with only what I could fit in the back of my Tahoe. I moved from a 2200 sq ft, 4-bedroom house that was full of furniture and just stuff. I had lived there for 8 years and the number of items that had collected in the garage alone was remarkable. It was stressful to figure out what to do with all that stuff. It became a combination of selling, donating, and trashing. Organizing that large of a task was daunting.

Ever since that move I have embraced a somewhat minimalist lifestyle to eliminate future stress in that situation. Every 6 months I go through my house and remove items that I don’t need or want. There are many ways to do this: pass down, rehome, recycle, donate, sell, etc. Reducing clutter or excess can be a great stress reliever. Who needs 25 towels, 17 flathead screwdrivers, 6 pairs of snow pants, 47 flashlights, and dishes for every occasion.

Excess belongings weigh you down, although most people do not realize this. As you prioritize your household needs and reduce your material possessions, that weight becomes lifted, and your anxiety is lessened. Set a schedule for downsizing by room or category every 6 months to a year depending on your needs. Whether you are planning a move in the future or are already in your forever home, your peace of mind will benefit from keeping your belongings in check.

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