Well I’m now a week in to the downsizing challenge and its been a very hard week indeed. Sorting through your stuff is so tiring. So far we have done a trip to the rubbish tip with a car full of stuff, including an old mattress from our gust bedroom and associated old bedding (it was all beyond reusing) and lots of boxes & packaging we have been keeping for products. We also took hundreds of magazines for recycling along with some old kitchen things.
It’s funny how we attach value to things even though they are no longer of use to us. A kind of sentimentality to a magazine you once enjoyed & some misplaced fantasy that you will read it again. Some of the magazines I’ve had since I was 11 years old, mostly old car magazines and the sentimental connection to them is unreal. The truth is I’ve never read them in 19 years, I’ve just carted them about. They weigh about 100Kg and take up 4 under bed boxes. They have to go.
Another thing I’m really attached to is packaging. I keep all packaging for electronics & with good reason. I sell everything to upgrade, I never just bin a phone or computer component or console. I put it back in its packaging and sell it to contribute to the upgrade. Keeping packaging for this purpose is acceptable, but when you are keeping packaging for things such as TVs they take up a lot of space. Unlike say a console, the box to a TV adds very little to its resale value so I’ve said goodbye to these. Only packaging that will add a significant resale value is to be kept.
We have lots of things up for sale on eBay and are adding things daily. Our dining table and chairs are going. We had a massive dining table and many chairs for the days we have family over. Truth is we have used it once, on Christmas Day. The rest of the time it’s unused. So it’s going.
I’m also selling my wii console. We had a fad a few years back with the wii. We used it for wii fit and a few games. Since then it’s lay dormant and unused. Another impulse purchase slowly depreciating and taking up space. We have had it in 4 different houses unused. What a waste of energy.
We have two digital cameras for sale. Yes we have two spare cameras, that sit in a drawer unused. Since iPhone cameras have got better and better we tend to take the actual camera less and less. Most of our travel shots are now taken on a phone and it seems to be a natural evolution. Why carry an iPod a camera a games console a phone and a laptop when a smartphone meets all those needs & more.
I’ve also downsized my media collection. I have everything digitised so I don’t have to find DVDs on shelves or music in racks. This has grown over the years and last week was 6 terabytes in size. That is a lot. It’s also a lot of anxiety and management. It’s almost a full time job maintaining, managing and worrying about all that content. So I’ve downsized my NAS to a 2TB raid array. Now it’s all backed up on the fly and is much more manageable. I was hoarding movies I’ve watched once and movies I didn’t even like. My music has gone as its all in the cloud with iTunes Match. My photo collection is slowly being purged and my TV box set collection has been drastically reduced. It feels so much better. Besides, with a netflix account most of these old movies are available on demand, and they have the headache of storing it for me.
We are still processing all of our stuff. We now have an empty guest room and an almost empty dining room. The house feels so big already and we already feel so much lighter. It’s a great feeling. We are looking at a 500sqft apartment this week too. That’s about 1/4 the size of our current home. It’s all very exciting.
We have hours of work left digitising the rest of our photo collection. Our photos take up 2 huge boxes so the plan is to scan them all and keep digital copies only, backed up to the cloud of course.
I hope you stick with us in this challenge. If you decide to give it a go yourself I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments. It’s a great thing to do and we are already planning our travels based on the savings we make moving to a smaller place. Between no car costs, a smaller home to heat, power & pay council tax on and a greater selection of free activities to attend we hope to save around £8k a year. It also includes using the proceeds from the sale of our stuff/car to pay off some debt. We hope to go away every 2-3 months to see another country or city. It’s an exciting prospect.
Ill try to post again tomorrow with some more progress.
A photo of the car going to the rubbish dump.