By Teresa Iqbal

May 4, 2018 4 min read

Whether you're downsizing because you're moving and you'll have less living space or you merely want fewer possessions, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to reducing how much stuff is in your home.

The good news is that there are many proven benefits to living with less. Having fewer possessions means having less cleaning and maintenance to do and having less stress in your life.

The process of downsizing is often considered to be a variant of minimalism. Minimalism is a hot topic. There are some tips touted by many experts that may apply to you and your downsizing needs. There are also many resources widely available for all types of journeys. In fact, there are books, blogs and even communities that focus on this very topic.

When choosing how to begin the process of downsizing your possessions, it is often recommended to look at what you own and ask the question, "Do I love this?" Marie Kondo, an organizing and cleaning consultant and author of the best-selling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," uses this question to help readers determine whether they should keep a possession or toss it. She claims that if an item does not spark joy in your life, it does not have a place in your home. This is an especially useful consideration to have when shopping. If you attempt to purchase only items that you truly love, it is less likely that you'll purchase another or have it sitting around collecting dust and taking up precious space in your home.

When choosing which items to keep, consider quality and usefulness. Choosing items that will continue to function properly means that you'll be less likely to feel the need to purchase more over time. Hold on to items that serve multiple purposes, as well, such as an ottoman that offers storage or a bed frame that has drawers underneath it. Having items in your home that can be used in many ways limits the number of items you'll need.

Perhaps one of the most common spaces in a home that require downsizing is our closets. Clothes are easily acquired, and we often own much more than we can wear. Having an overabundance of clothes can cause stress when it comes to choosing what to wear, maintaining clothes and finding a space to keep it all. If you're one of those who would like a less stressful experience with closets, you may want to consider a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a downsizing phenomenon that includes limiting the number of articles of clothing in your closet. The idea is to favor quality pieces that you love and serve many uses, such as a flowy top that can be worn with jeans on the weekend or dressed up with black slacks for work. The idea behind the wardrobe capsule is to only have articles of clothing hanging in your closet that you love to wear, can work in many different settings and make you feel great every time.

Another resource for those looking to downsize is the blog The Minimalists, which was launched by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus in 2010. Not only is their blog a wealth of knowledge for people looking to gain more in their life (time, passion, experiences) by having less but also they have written numerous books and even published a documentary, called "Minimalism," which showcases the many benefits of downsizing.

There are many other blogs that may also speak to your situation. Some are more family-oriented, while some are specific to hobbies, such as cooking. No matter your lifestyle, there are resources available to help you on your journey toward gaining more by having less.

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