Downsizing Your Daily Life

Posted April 4th, 2009 by Kent Griswold and filed in Issue 2: Downsizing

Empty that Barn and Start Downsizing Today


My parents were very young during the depression and it made a great impact on their lives and it was totally opposite to the idea of downsizing. They became collectors and never got rid of anything.

Living in the depression made my parents think that they should save everything as they might need it some day or surely they would find a use for it at some time. My dad still cannot turn down a free deal or a bargain from a friend and he has a barn full of stuff to prove it.

My grandfather had collected things for almost ninety years and when he passed away my father brought home most of his collection to add to his own. This is the type of lifestyle I grew up in. You must save, save, save, for you just might need it some day. This way of thinking was ingrained me, so how do you switch from that mentality to a downsizing mentality?

Enter my wife. She was brought up in a family of educators who tended to move from place to place on a regular basis. They used their job as a way to explore the country. My mother-in-law has gypsy blood and loves to just keep moving on. Every time they moved they downsized, had a garage sale, gave stuff away and moved on to the next location.

In our marriage my wife has been trying to train me to think along her way of upbringing. Keep what you need and get rid of what ever you don’t need or use.

I’ll admit it is easier when you move regularly as we did the first few years of married life, but it gets much more difficult when you stay in one place for a long period of time. We have been in our current residence for eleven years now and things start to collect.

So how can you downsize your life? Here are a couple of suggestions. If your not using something, get rid of it. Period. If you buy a new item, get rid of an old item.

My wife goes through each room in the house on a regular basis and pulls out items not in use and starts a box or bag for donations or things to sell. I have been slowly learning to do the same and you can too.

When the kids are completely out of the house we will step into downsizing in a major way, but in the mean time it helps to work on it daily. Get into a habit of removing the items in your life you don’t need or use, make downsizing a part of your your daily life.

Kent Griswold publishes the Tiny House Blog.

2 Responses to “Downsizing Your Daily Life”

  1. Katie @ Making This HomeNo Gravatar says:

    Kent, this article is really interesting to read. I like getting to know the man behind your website. It’s great finding you here, too!

  2. Kent GriswoldNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Katie for your kind words. I guess I have not been real big on sharing my own life on the blog, this journal is forcing me to open up. :-)