Self Development By Mae Davies / January 3, 2015 Last week, the house where I grew up in got flooded, and in it was most of my stuff that I stored since childhood: clothes, books, photos, trinkets, and what not. Because the house had to be completely emptied out to be cleaned, this gave us an opportunity to review what we were currently storing in it. The house is huge with 5 big rooms and is probably about 2,000 square feet of space. We ended up using 1 room for each of us (5 siblings altogether). No one is staying in it currently, only our stuff. From the outside, it looks like an ordinary bungalow, but on the inside, it’s a big storage warehouse unit. Anyway, I prided myself with the fact that I had the least amount of boxes and was taking up the least amount of space. Yesterday, I drew up enough needed motivation and started to sort through my stuff. Some of which I haven’t checked in more than 10 years! I laid out all the boxes. It totaled about 6 big boxes and 2 big pieces of luggage full of clothes and 1 piece of luggage full of shoes. My brother recently expressed interest in moving back to this old house (he was the last one who stayed in it) and announced to everyone that we have a good few months before he renovates and takes over the space again. That got me thinking, since I didn’t really want to rent storage space and didn’t like the idea of moving around my stuff too much, maybe it’s time I should downsize my belongings; perhaps I can do away with lots of stuff in those boxes. I started yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel bad letting go of stuff I had been keeping since my grade school days! I mean, I can probably keep some mementos from those times, but I didn’t need to keep every single notebook or exam paper from way back then! The pile quickly shrunk as I got rid of old letters; I did save stamps, as I wanted to continue my grandmother’s stamp collection. I threw away some flyers and travel brochures from many years back, as I know most of them I can easily pull up online. The same goes for anything that has information I am keeping that I can find online anyway. From 6 boxes, I was able to downsize it to 3 small ones! (Imagine my delight). And one of those 3 boxes is just full of photos and negatives, which I plan to pare down as well as soon as I get the chance. The 2 big pieces of luggage full of clothes also needs sorting. I can donate clothes that are out of fashion and rarely used. I plan to downsize to only 1 piece of luggage of extra clothes. I gave away stuff to a cousin who has 3 kids and a newborn; she gladly took a walker and a high chair, which will be put to good use according to her. I haven’t finished yet, but with just 2 days since I started, I already feel like I accomplished so much. I feel so much lighter, like a big weight has been lifted off of me. Initially, I gave myself a month to finish this downsizing project, thinking that it will take me that much time to let go of all my stuff, but now, at the rate I’m going, I feel like I can finish everything within a week. Hopefully this story will inspire you to start your own downsizing project. It’s not as hard as you think it is. If you don’t know how to organize your life and get rid of clutter, do this first: prepare yourself mentally to release and let go of stuff. Once you have this attitude in place, everything else will be a breeze.