The ‘What Ifs’
When I talk about downsizing, I get people’s attention, but not usually in a good way. There seem to be two big statements behind the “are you crazy?!?!” looks: “But I LIKE my stuff!” and “But I NEED my space!”
Stuff is nice. It’s wonderful. It’s… secure. It’s there if I ever need it. And it’s popular. But I don’t like it well enough to drown in it. by the time I’d use it I will have either lost it or it will be out of date, out of style, or rotted. It would really be more reasonable to rent a storage shed for the stuff than to pay for a house to store it in, if I must keep it. But why pay for a storage shed I’ll lock and never go visit? And if I wouldn’t visit the stuff if it was locked in storage, why would I want to live with it every day?
I don’t need space. Quite the contrary. I want outdoors space, but indoors is a place to sleep and eat, not a place I want to spend all my time-cleaning, decorating, reorganizing, or filling. Someone tonight told me they needed more space so that if their kids came… and if they wanted to entertain… The “what ifs.” If I want to entertain, I’ll entertain outdoors, at a restaurant, or all in a small house. I’ve never entertained in more than one room of a house before, so I certainly don’t need space dedicated to entertaining now. And if people come to visit from out of town… well, let’s see. If I’m paying for utilities, maintenance, taxes and insurance (“hidden fees”) on the space to put them if they come, why not just save the money and give them a hotel suite if they come instead? They’d probably be happy for the privacy, as would I, and even at $150/night they’d have to stay a long time to cost what I now pay in “hidden fees” for a space they never come and occupy.
So “what if…?” What if I miss something I’ve given away? What if someone comes to town (a rare event for me)? I’ll work with those things if and when they happen. But what if I don’t need to spend the time cleaning and maintaining and storing and hoarding? What if less things means more time, more money, and more energy? For me, it’s well worth the risk.