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Twice as Happy With Half as Much

Updated on September 2, 2019
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As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

Time and money
Time and money | Source

Not The Nightmare

Besides being darling, this is the smartest purchase I have made in a very long time. Like many people, my husband and I were both laid off a couple years ago. We had to move from our large 3-bedroom home to a small 1-bedroom apartment. That took some major adjustment, let me tell you. We put much of our furniture in storage and waited for the economy to get better. So far it hasn't, at least for us. But we learned something very important about life and ourselves.

First, we learned we are twice as happy with half as much. In some cases less than half as much. But it's been a freeing experience. We love not having separate rooms to work our artistic crafts in. We do more together, talk more, see each other more. Believe it or not, that is a good thing.

Small things are sweet
Small things are sweet | Source


Second, we have both found that we were bogged down with an enormous amount of clutter. Without the space, we simply had to downsize. And that is where our Corner Nook Set came in. There was no room for a large dining room table and chairs. For a long time we kept them in storage and eventually gave them away. The Corner Nook fits perfectly in the small space available and even offers storage space under the seats. It is both cozy and comfortable. I love having it.



Sometimes the most charming things come in smaller packages. I have found that smaller things, like apartments, are easier to clean and keep clean; cheaper to heat and cool; and cozy. This little apartment and our little Breakfast Nook, have kept my husband and I closer together. We talk more and work together more. We eat together more than ever before. That is a very good thing.

Also, my sweet little breakfast nook has storage space under the seats, which really helps save space. Hiding things away has become a pleasure for me.

Drawing In A Small Space

Have you had to downsize due to the economy?

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Let it go.
Let it go. | Source

Lessen Your Grip

Giving things away and throwing out the debris has a very liberating feeling. I have learned to love recycling and repurposing things, tossing what I don't need or can't use and only saving what is absolutely necessary. This means that not only is my grip on things less, but the things have less grip on me. That is the hard part, isn't it? We don't really own our possessions, they own us. We must clean them and maintain them, hire repairmen when they break, or replace them when they wear out. It becomes a vicious cycle that can only be broken with the freedom of downsizing.

Half Full or Half Empty


Brain Washing

I am still in the process of down-sizing. It never seems to end. There is always more stuff to get rid of in favor of a simpler, smaller setting. Do you down-size regularly? Do you think you should?

It's all in the mindset. If you feel deprived by letting go of a few things then eventually you will live hip-deep in clutter. On the other hand if you convince yourself that you don't need it if you haven't used it or even looked at it in a year or so, then you won't feel deprived when you let go. I can only say this because I have lived both ways. I used to be a half empty person thinking I need more and was deprived with what I had.

My mind has changed recently and I now believe I have more than enough. The cup is half-full and I am happy with that. I think we all have to do a little brain washing to be able to live with less when the commercials and media have been trying to convince us/brainwash us for years that we can't possibly be happy without the newest, shiniest, expensive-ist gadgets and devices. A little deprograming is in order here. The commercials have lied. You don't need it and will be happier without it in the end. You can't take any of it with you anyway.

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Sometimes smaller is better.
Sometimes smaller is better.
Sometimes smaller is better. | Source

Ongoing Process

After these 7 years, we are still in the process of downsizing. Each piece of mail that enters the house must be dealt with and tossed right away. No more magazines or physical newspapers: digital only. Very few books on the shelves: digital only. Things in storage have been gifted, tossed or incorporated into the home finally and storage eliminated. If I haven't used it in the last 3 or 4 years, chances are I never will: so out it goes.

I gave away so many things to my children they began to wonder if we weren't dying or planning on it. They became alarmed until we told them we just had to downsize. Cooking and cleaning have become a joy with only a few dishes, pots, and pans in the cupboards. Laundry has also become something that takes less time since we only have a few chosen garments left in the closet. I think I like this way of living.

What do you think? Do you need to clear out the clutter as well? Have you already done so? Do you like it better or worse? Let me know.


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