The Mindset Behind Simplifying & Downsizing

Want to downsize and simplify your life but wondering how to begin? Here are tips for adapting the right mindset behind simplifying & downsizing your life!Adapting the right mindset is the first step in simplifying and downsizing your life.

You can desire to make all the changes in the world, but if your mindset isn’t aligned with the actions you need to take in order to actually reach your goal, it’s going to be hard to turn your aspirations for a simpler life into reality.

It can be hard to change habits that have been created over a lifetime. While it is certainly no easy feat,ย  I’m sharing some tips to hopefully assist you in developing the right mindset that will help you in your quest to downsize and simplify.

Tips for creating the right mindset to downsize and simplify:

1. Realize there is no time like the present

Start now with your plan of action. It’s so easy to say you will begin tomorrow or next week, but there will always be an excuse or something that can get in the way if you let too much time pass. Just remember that there will never be an ideal or opportune time that you deem perfect to begin. Just start now, even if it’s as small as donating one old sweater.

2. Detach your identity from your belongings

Evaluate your attachment to your possessions. If you tend to hoard objects for nostalgic or emotional reasons, try to figure out a way you can treasure your memories or deal with your emotions in ways that do not involve keeping or obtaining physical objects. Remind yourself that you are not defined by the things you own. They are simply just things.

3. Stop worrying about norms or what is expected of you

Don’t give a second thought to what others think of your desire to simplify and downsize your life. Our society has been trained to value “stuff” to a point that it’s become detrimental to our overall quality of life. Just because your friends and family still idolize material possessions doesn’t mean that you need to as well. Look at this as an opportunity to show your loved ones (through your actions) that living a life with less stuff can be very fulfilling and happy.

4. Identify what’s most important to you

Simplifying your life will allow you to focus on what’s most important, so it will be crucial to keep your priorities in mind while you are going through the downsizing process. Remember that less is actually more. Less stuff means more time, energy, money, and other resources to spend on what really matters most to you.

5. Figure out what enough means to you

Today’s world is one filled with opportunities for consumption constantly presenting themselves. There’s always going to be the latest and greatest clothing, toys, and gadgets that are vying for your attention and money. Most people don’t quite know what enough looks like for themselves, hence the never-ending cycle of purchasing. Figure out what enough means to you and then stand by that when outside influences are trying to get you to waiver on your decision.

Implementing these tips can be a great way to solidify your mindset and help make your journey to simplicity a successful one!

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Other resources to help you simplify your life:

More posts on Embracing Simple about simplifying:

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  1. In my original family, I was the crazy weirdo for being a minimalist, and my sister the hoarder was considered normal. Where does one even go with that?

    You know I love this post, Christina! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh gosh. It’s sad, but I think that is how it is in most families to be honest! I think it’s because most people think of having a collection of “things” as a sign of success. All it takes is one episode of a hoarders show to have me feeling sick though, I could never live like that!

      Thanks Kay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great post!! While there is something I LOVE about big houses, I’m a minimalist at heart. Lately I’ve been dreaming about traveling the country in an RV with my family for a year. Wouldn’t that be the life?!

    • Thanks Sarah! That would be pretty cool actually! There are so many states I’ve yet to see, I think that would be the perfect way to knock ’em all out. Even a summer of that would be really fun. I think I’d have to have some type of luxury RV though to last in close quarters with my family for so long without space from each other, hah!

      • that is actually what we have done. Sold our ” big home”, gone thru 2 downsizings, renovated a 20 year old RV, and hit the road! So far, it is wonderful. I agree with the lady that said the mindset is si important in whatever change we want to make. Also, you must be ever vigilant in your quest for simplicity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do it!!!

  3. “you are not defined by the things you own”

    Such a powerful statement. Although I haven’t struggled with downsizing since we moved in November, it’s still hard for me to let go of sentimental items, because I feel like a bad partner/daughter/sister/granddaughter etc. if I don’t keep them. I just need to take it one step (and box of nostalgic possessions) at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thereโ€™s so much truth to this post Christina. Right now Iโ€™m trying to detach my identity from my belongings and be a good example to my friends and family. Iโ€™ve already determined whatโ€™s enough for me and it feels great to not feel the need to have more and more. Being content with what you have is the best way to achieve overall happiness.

    • Absolutely Chonce! It’s such a wonderful feeling to just be content with the amount of possessions you have. Appreciating what you already have is definitely the best way to be happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This seems true of most changes we want to make. If you aren’t prepared mentally, you are less likely to succeed. You have to be driven and prepared for the inevitable setbacks that will happen in order to persevere. Changing is hard!

  6. Such a great post! As a vintage buyer and seller, I am constantly in the mode of “recycling”. When an item does not sell for a time, it goes to the donation bin. So many of my fellow sellers get huge emotional attachments to (many) items. That type of attachment to material possessions is the hallmark of hoarding.

    • Thank you Susan! Props to you for being able to remove your emotions from the whole process, I can imagine that probably wasn’t easy at first. Especially when you are surrounded by such beautiful items that you are constantly having to part with. Sounds like you have a great system in place to discourage yourself from keeping the items that don’t sell!

  7. I am so in love with this post!! There truly is no time like the present to start making decisions that actually reflect what’s most important to us.

  8. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be using? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Broderick – I use and have been very happy with it thus far! I’ve used it with several clients’ sites for a few years as well and have never had too big of an issue. I’d definitely recommend it! Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like to chat further: embracesimple[at]gmail[dot]com

  9. I loved this post! Last year I downsized to a Tiny House and the first step was changing my mindset. It is easy to get wrapped up on what we own to define our self-worth.

    My breakthrough moment was when I decided to create my own vision of the “good life.” I realized it involved a lot less stuff, a lot less debt, and a lot more freedom! Thanks for the great post.

    • Lora, that is fascinating! I’d been obsessed with the Tiny House Nation show and as a result have been so intrigued by the concept of tiny living. You can bet I’m going to be an avid reader of your blog! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Such a great and quick article about realizing what is important in life and making it happen! I’ve currently been downsizing to only the essentials, so this is a good boost to keep going! Thanks!

  11. Loved this post, thank you! I am in the midst of downsizing my possessions right now. And all of my bills. In a couple of years I would like to buy a smaller, cheaper home as well. My goal is to be debt-free. So far I am making a lot of progress. Reading other people’s stories helps keep me motivated.

  12. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Each and every things given here is so๏ปฟ important and useful.I like the tips on creating a mindset to downsize and simplify move.

  13. Thank you for your post. Everything here is very helpful to make your move easier and stress free.

  14. Absolutely love this. We’re forced to downsize but I’ve always wanted to be a minimalist and just… Didn’t. My husband’s family are all hoarders and he’s struggled over the years, which has also made it difficult. He’s doing amazing and despite knowing our situation his family has made comments about getting rid of gifts.

    For the record, we could keep our larger home if I returned to the work force, which is what everyone is saying “well you just gotta do it.” It’s sad that people are encouraging me to put stuff over my family.

    • Kal, it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of prioritizing what is most important to you. And although it may be difficult to have to deal with the conflicting opinions of family members, you know what is best for you and your family!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I want to downsize and simply, but it can be so overwhelming! I like your first point, start with just one thing! For me, starting small would be key. I don’t think I could empty out a room in a day like some people do!

    • Absolutely Rachyl! Finding a strategy that will work for you is what’s important, some people do well with tackling a huge project in a day and others like to go slow and steady. Starting small is better than never starting at all ๐Ÿ™‚


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