Chicago Tribune article about downsizing

tre3March 26, 2007

This Sunday the Chicago Tribune ran an article in the Home&Gaden section. I don't know how to add a link so I'll paraphrase and quote here.

Author, Mary Daniels, follows Crandon Gustafsons move from a 3,000sq foot home to a 750sq ft apt.

"Downsizing is not a one time event, like a yard sale, or dumping stuff on relatives, but an ongoing process."

As most of us organize I think we tend to downsize our belongings.

Gustafson, who is the department chair for interior design at Harrington College of Design also offers these kernels of advice:

1. "Shake the popcorn bag regularly" Those things you value should rise to the top while those things of less value should sink to the bottom just like unpopped kernels in a bag. Or re-evaluate, re-evaluate. If something stays at the bottom of the bag after repeated evaluation- get rid of it.

2. "Unburden your surfaces. See how walls and tabletops look with nothing on them. The surrounding space will expand."

3. "Understand the theory of gravity. Matter attracts matter. Find the reverse tipping point-or let go of things and see how more and more will follow." There is hope.:)

4. "Make a time capsule. For things you really can't part with but don't use, pack'em up and put them in storage." Hm-m. Maybe not storage, as in a storage facility, but a box, trunk, etc? I like the idea of a "time capsule".

5. "Avoid the check-out line. [In lieu of shopping,] stroll down an alley or look in a Dumpster to see how much stuff doesn't survive the first move. Think about this and don't buy it to start with."

I thought this article was interesting and reinforced what so many of us suggest and also struggle with. Hope you enjoy it.

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jannie

These are great tips. when I rented a summer cabin for one week, I loved the spacious kitchen. It was actually tiny,but the wide open counter space is inspiring. I try to make my own home kitchen look as airy.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 8:46AM
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talley_sue_nyc

5. "Avoid the check-out line. [In lieu of shopping,] stroll down an alley or look in a Dumpster to see how much stuff doesn't survive the first move. Think about this and don't buy it to start with."

I call this one, "first, do no harm"--just don't buy it in the first place.

Stuff like foot baths, and battery-powered rotary shower scrubbers. Little gadgety appliances.

Also, look at the shelves in the thrift shop, or the leftovers at the garage sale. So many things, NOBODY wants! Not even for free, really. Toss them in the garbage, then. My church had a HUGE rummage sale--so, so much was left at the end, it was an education. Things that people would say, "it's still good, it still have value"--NOT! I feel much less guilty now when I toss something in the garbage.

Stuff that really the only time you'd buy it is if you needed to get someone a gift--sometimes I think nobody should even MAKE those things.

And I liked #2--"unburder surfaces." We decluttered for selling the place, and I cleared stuff off the mantel. And suddenly I *liked* the mantel. I had candles, etc., on there just because people gave them to me, and so that was where I had available to put them. I got rid of those stupid candles. I don't care if they are penguins, etc.--I like my mantel better EMPTY. I don't WANT to have so much "pretty" stuff on display, even if it IS pretty. (and these weren't my choice anyway)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:49AM
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tre3

My mantel is empty but I do have a footbath in a cabinet under the sink. YEP! Its one on those things I'm going to challenge myself to use. I know it is probably going to go but I need to assuage my guilt first. Pedicure tonite!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:03PM
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greenfumbers4fowbers

"5. "Avoid the check-out line. [In lieu of shopping,] stroll down an alley or look in a Dumpster to see how much stuff doesn't survive the first move. Think about this and don't buy it to start with."

Uh... no. :) I need to stay the heck away from the free sources in the alleys and dumpsters, too! I can't count the number of things I brought home from the 'put and take' shed at our dump, that ended up going back, but after I'd wasted time trying to make it useful at my house.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:00PM
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tre3

Greenfumbers4fowbers (LOL) sounds like you might be suffering from too much potential too!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:11AM
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talley_sue_nyc

LOL a greenfumbers--that's funny. And it is the wise person who knows their weaknesses, so how smart you are as well!

(I will say, the NYer in me had a minor heart palpitation right after "stroll down an alley"--YIKES!!! Not in NYC. But I grew up in Mt. Ayr, Iowa, and on my wedding weekend, I freaked out the NYers with me by taking them down the alleys that crisscross each block--of course, in small-town Iowa, the alleys are where the residents put their garbage or access their garage--far from the greasy, grungy, rat-infested, dangerous-looking, sometimes-dangerous-being alleys of NYC)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:19AM
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