Downsizing Your Life (We Moved Abroad)

Are you thinking of downsizing?

My husband and I have been moving toward a minimal lifestyle for years now. We down-sized to a beautiful loft apartment and now we’ve packed up our home to create a new one in the Middle East! Hello expat life!

We will be travelling a lot once we’re settled in Kuwait, which is another reason why we’ve decided to “live with less”.

Time was definitely not on our side with this move, but I’ve learned so much in the short number of weeks that we’ve spent downsizing our life and memories in the USA to fit into the luggage bags and carry-on bags we arrived with at our new apartment.

Though I will probably share my exact methods at a later stage, the truth is that I just did as much as I could on any particular day leading up to our departure while balancing work and quality time with our families whom we will miss so much!

But if you’d love to be more thorough, here are my immediate thoughts if you’re considering or in the process of downsizing to make room for something new!

Why am I downsizing?

I think it’s important to keep a mental checklist of the things you hold dear. “Downsizing” has become a “thing” in itself so you always want to be clear on why you’re doing this anyway.

Scaling down can be addictive and you could soon drive your family up the wall with your “minimalist” approach to all things, including their belongings! Tread with caution and keep the main thing, and remember it’s really not that deep.

Whether you’re making room for a new baby, or trading in a car for a fuel-efficient alternative, keep the obsession in check by visualizing your new and improved lifestyle, which is what matters.

Where is all my stuff coming from?

Best get to the root of the issue, fam! I’ve accumulated various items through my work as a style blogger. I am so grateful for the opportunities that come my way, but man, have I collected some stuff!

Once you know where the bulk of your clutter is coming from, you can reassess and make choices which will allow you to scale back!

I had the fright of my life when I ventured into my closet ahead of our move. Storage space can often give an illusion of an organized space. A clothing rail is a great, inexpensive way to keep your clothing organized and in your face, forcing you  to keep things neat and tidy, lest you want to face disorder every day.

How will I get rid of it?

There are so many ideas floating around the internet! The Kon Marie method, for example, is a popular one.

The trick with these techniques is to understand that even though they may be founded on universal principles, you will have to personalise them to be practical to you and your home. When creating my capsule wardrobe, for example, I spent less time focusing on numbers and more time on building a wardrobe of essentials I love and wear.

Something that stopped working for me, in the end, was “closet sales”. I love them but they are time-consuming and energy-sapping, which is not ideal in high-pressure transitions such as moving house.

If you are going through a difficult or exciting transition, you want to keep things light and make down-sizing work for you. Is making a few extra dollars really more important that your clarity and peace of mind?

If you’re stressing about selling the items in your garage, instead of preparing mentally and spiritually for your transition, it may be time to let them go!

Who can benefit from my change in lifestyle besides me and my family?

My husband and I donated a lot of our household items and clothing! We could easily have sold these babies but see point three for more! It brought joy to our hearts to help others furnish their homes and contribute to goodwill without desiring anything in return.

I highly encourage anyone who is going through a change of sorts to see how they can help someone out in the process. If you’re not always in a position to help those in need (we all try, I know), this may be a great time to impact someone’s life in a positive way.

You never know what people are struggling with and what they may need. The saying that one man’s trash is someone else’s treasure is very true!

Perspective is everything!

There’s quite an interesting movement out there right now called the tiny house movement or small house movement. It is an architectural and social movement that advocates for living simply in small homes. 

It is a return to houses of less than 1,000 square feet, some of which are built on wheels for ease of movement and recreational travel. Some of these homes boast incredible modern advances, however, the emphasis is on creating a space which is economical and environmentally friendly.

What I like about this trend is that encourages people to think about what they consider to be a suitable home for themselves and their families.
A tiny house in Provo, United States

Can you get by with less? If not, why not? We really enjoyed our loft apartment and hope that you aren’t in any way intimidated to have a home which is larger than your lifestyle!

Which brings me to my last point…

In our household, we’ve never been hesitant to make scary decisions which will benefit our next steps as a family. As individuals, partners and families, it is important that we stay growing together, reaching unchartered territory as we go along.

There is no need to be afraid of the unknown or choosing something different. If your heart is in the right place, you will go well, not without challenges, but in God speed.

Want a glimpse at our new life? Check out our empty apartment tour below. 

Author: Kim Postell

Kim Postell is the style blogger and educator behind Naturally Fashionable. She recently left her teaching job to explore other interests, which includes but is not limited to her online presence here at Naturally Fashionable and her other online business, Blog With Kim.