Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

The Journey from Supersized to Downsized

I recently took my staff on a virtual tour to let them experience firsthand the turmoil and chaos of my current undertaking: packing up two lifetimes of memorabilia, collectibles, and necessities from one home and moving it all 400 miles to my new residence. It’s not a pretty sight; in fact, it’s downright overwhelming. Every conceivable space is covered with boxes stacked upon boxes. I was literally unable to unpack my suitcase from my last speaking engagement because there’s simply nowhere to put everything.

While I’m certainly not what one would consider a hoarder or even a packrat, I’ve found myself just as caught up as the next person in my accumulation of things that, at one time, I simply couldn’t live without. Yet now I find myself tempted to rent a Dumpster and allow myself the joy of tossing each of these boxes into its depths. Imagine how freeing that would be! We allow ourselves to be so encumbered by “stuff” to the point that it’s not healthy – and as the saying goes, we can’t take it with us.

It’s worth noting that I’ve had plenty of experience in clearing out homes of family members after their passing, and I certainly don’t want to put my family through such an ordeal. So what is it that prevents us from living a more minimalist lifestyle? Is it even possible in our first-world mindset to shift our focus from storing up to scaling back? What if we spent our time outdoors or engaging in meaningful activities instead of pursuing things to own?

If I shift my gaze from the monumental task ahead of me, I can spot one cleared section of flooring in the room that’s designated to become my grandchildren’s playroom, adjacent to my office; and it serves as the perfect inspiration to realign my priorities.

So, those of you who are putting off downsizing and planning for the inevitable need to shift gears into something else in your life, I am here to tell you that it is freeing and wonderful.