How to downsize personal possessions.

I just cleaned house the day before yesterday. I’m downsizing my personal possessions because my house is small– and I mean it feels like a storage unit than a place called home sometimes. Not that I’m messy, far from it. When I decided where I wanted to live I did not take into account all my life time accumulations would move in with me.

Some of my personal antiques contained sad memories– most I’d like to forget. And then it happened. I began to feel overwhelmed being in a one-bedroom place. I’d never use half the stuff I accumulated and therefore put a lot of it on eBay. Stuff sold and it was slow-going. If you ever sold something on eBay, buyers will watch, then when the items don’t sale and are re-listed, the watchers vanish.

I did manage to sell off quite a bit the first two tries and it helped me out for a while. I looked around my tiny house. Something still made me feel like the walls were closing in on me. I don’t have much of a living room to put furniture in (or rearrange it for that matter). My tiny house is a cottage with a stove and fridge and a kitchen sink. The cupboards have no doors– this was one of those ‘do-it-yourself’ layouts done cheaply and installed wrong by whoever lived here before me. If there ever was any formal dining in this place, then I’d like to see it. I have a very small dinning table and three beautiful mismatched chairs. Yet whenever I prepare a meal, I eat over the sink to prevent crumbs from getting everywhere. I’m a clean freak to an extent and my tiny house has its old-fashioned quirks. Nothing’s even, nothing’s flat. The plaster and lathe walls were coated in textured paint from floor to ceiling in every room. It’s an eyesore to me, but I don’t plan living in this place for the remainder of my life.

My cat waits for me and watches my comings and goings. I know it irritates her when I throw her schedule out of whack. She’s perched on the porch railing, meowing and staring straight at me.  She officially adopted me as her person five years ago when I moved in. I don’t know who in their right mind would abandoned such a sweet animal and leave it to the elements. It wasn’t an easy process gaining her trust, either. She was a stray cat, probably a year old when I first encountered her eating leftover baked potatoes I had dumped in my [then] new garden’s compost pile. I never seen a cat love potatoes like she does!

My cat survived one of the harshest winters in 2013 going on the third year she warmed up to me. She was mostly outdoors all the time and I brought her in, worried that she had no shelter to hunker in. I suspect this place had been her home. She knows the layout extremely well. I spoiled her with smoked Herring fillets, an occasional Mini-Moo coffee creamer, regular cat food and water. She’s happy and definitely has an independent personality. She’s not a lap cat at all. She’s already staked claim to my rocking chair and couch. She later received a pet bed that she naps in during the winter and a lot of cat toys too.

My possessions would be nice if they didn’t weigh a ton. The tiny house can support them, but the weight of the Hosier cabinet and upright Talking Machines are extremely heavy. Why not just part with them and be done with it?

And yep, the talking machines do play and are very beautiful. I put a lot of elbow grease and hands-on learning experience to get them running again. Cosmetically they have their flaws and its a reflection of their character. And I re-painted and varnished the Hosier cabinet during one summer. It turned out nice!

I’m still downsizing a lot of the ‘little’ knick knacks that dust bunnies love to flock to and donated quite bit going room to kitchentte and back again. I would never recommend tackling downsizing in one day. I found out the hard way that the city can come down on you if dumpster divers tear into your bags of trash and the contents blows all over the neighborhood.

I would advise starting with the clothes you’ve outgrown or no longer wear. Then tackle the shoes. I manged to curtail my shoes down to two pairs of tennis shoes. One nice pair for my volunteer work, the other for walking. I have two pairs of hiking boots for yard work and double as snow boots during the winter. I have some casual dress shoes for special occasions as well. Next, I would tackle the pots, pans, dishes and cups. It was pretty much a no-brainer for me to downsize this and it took me one evening. The donation bags accumulated and in total I dumped off 15 bags to my local thrift store. The clothes were clean and so were the unwanted dishes. I never leave a mess for somebody else. Perhaps I’m considerate in that regard. I also used to stock pile a lot of dish soap, laundry soap when I didn’t have a set a wheels to get me around. I began storing all of it in my very creepy open basement/ open crawl space. That’s a basement that’s partially unfinished and the crawl space is spooky as well. I seldom ever go to the basement unless I need a bottle of detergent.

My tiny hall closet was crammed full of storage containers. I sorted through the contents and down-sized and its looking better in there. And yet, I see I missed a few containers that I will tackle in the coming week. My tiny house feels a lot lighter.

Will I ever be sad when the day comes that I do move from here? I might reflect back on it and be relieved to be out from under the ‘smallest money pit’ and its quirks.

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