How Does Laughter Help in Downsizing?

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How Does Laughter Help in Downsizing?
Written By: Elisa Hawkinson - How 2 Get Organized ~ 12/6/2021


Is it possible that laughter helps when downsizing? My own personal experience says ‘Yes.’ Except when I’m grieving the loss of a loved one…I’ve been on that side of downsizing. Laughter has played an important part on the ‘up’ side of life when it’s time to edit the contents of my home and/or to help others.

A long-ago silly memory during a garage sale with a friend makes me smile right now. She saw my pair of culottes (think long shorts in the 70’s hitting below the knee) on the table for sale. She laughed at me for having held on to them for over ten years; long after anyone was wearing them. They were in great condition, cost plenty and made of a lovely wool. I don’t think, at that point in my life and twenty years into my marriage, that I had ever consciously downsized or decluttered. I just hung onto stuff until it was useless. I was still into an ‘accumulating phase’ of life.

After getting over my embarrassment with my friend, I laughed too. I quickly evaluated why I still had those culottes. I realized I had not put boundaries around what I would keep or for how long and, since I once loved them, I thought I should keep them until the pregnancy weight was off. Being on a budget was also a factor. I grew up hearing the motto, “Good clothes must be worn until they were worn out.” After the laugh, reality set in and I could not wait for someone to buy them. No one did, so I donated them since someone, somewhere might need them.

That laugh was refreshing and urged me to keep sorting through my home, editing down what was no longer needed or used. There was plenty in every household category that could be donated. I reflected on how laughter is so good for our health,, and decided to look for what else I could laugh at for keeping so long.

There have been countless times that a client and I laughed at something found deep within a cabinet that had not been used for over a decade. One of the best laughs came from finding parts of a blender in four different places in the kitchen. We howled imagining the scavenger hunt that would have happened should a smoothie for the children been on the ‘need now’ agenda. It is the older appliances, pushed to the backside of a deep cabinet, that has brought the most giggles and shock finding forgotten items from the not-used-in-I-can’t-remember-when category. What’s in the back of your cabinet?

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