Upsize, downsize and right-size. If you’re like me, you spend an inordinate amount of time and energy getting it all just right. Sometimes I feel as if the size of everything matters more than it should.

upsize, downsize and right-size

Size Matters, the title of the photo challenge created by SueW and GC this week got me thinking about the size of things. They ask if bigger is always best. My short answer? It depends. 

You can check out Sue’s blog at Nan’s Farm Inside Out, and GC’s at The Main Aisle.

My immediate response was, ‘Of course not’. But when I thought about it, I realised a more moderate response would have been, ‘It depends.’ A bit like the size of the beds, chairs and plates of porridge in the story of the three bears.

Upsize downsize and right-size

It stands to reason that size of things depends entirely on a person’s or family’s wants, needs and desires. It depends on what’s appropriate at any given time. For example, families with children might need more room in their homes than singles or couples without children.

They might need larger vehicles that meet the safety and legal requirements of a car seat for each child under a certain age or weight or height. They probably need more storage space for possessions including hobbies.

Some people need bigger salaries, bank accounts or share portfolios to support their life-style. Others may have more modest needs, and feel happier without the stress of managing a fortune.

Some want bigger muscles than others because they want to look better or feel fitter, or because they do manual work or play elite sport.

Getting the size of everything right for one’s current needs can be a constant juggling act as circumstances change. There’s a time and season to upsize and downsize. The trick is to get the balance, to right-size.

Here are some things that are the right size for me now

  • Our perfect-for-us apartment. While it would not work for everyone, our two bedrooms and a living room which incorporates a kitchen, dining and sitting room suit us perfectly. The long sunny-in-winter, shaded-in-summer balcony delights us. Working in the tiny study nook with everything within reach works well for me. I’ve written about our apartment here, and about downsizing here.
  • Our neighbourhood. I love the way I can walk to almost everything I need, including parks and shops, doctors and the train if I want to go further afield.
  • The kitchen, which is well-equipped with everything I use regularly and only a couple of extra gadgets. Oh, and the muffin pans!
Sunny corner of sitting room in our apartment

The things I’m working on

  • My weight and clothes size. Still need to down-size further, but I’m delighted that my new jeans are smaller than the previous pair I bought.
  • My fitness, which should be measured in terms of ‘more’ rather than size.
  • The pile of muffin pans and, now I’m thinking seriously about them, cake tins generally. I have far too many of both. But somehow I can’t bring myself to get rid of them. Yet!

What isn’t working

  • Books. Try as I might, the size of our library seems to be stuck at far too big for our current needs, wants and desires.
  • My to-do list, which is much bigger than anyone’s to-do list should be. The trouble seems to be that I add more than I ever seem to finish these days. I guess it’s about big hopes, dreams and aspirations. I’m not ready to downsize those. Yet!

My short answer to this challenge seems to be, bigger is not always best. It depends on too many factors and whether you need to upsize downsize or do something different..

8 replies on “Upsize downsize right-size decisions”

  1. An entertaining post, Maureen. I haven’t thought about it in detail like you have, and I’m not a systematic thinker like you. I think for me it’s an organic thing. Like a snail, the size of my shell has changed as I”ve changed. I haven’t grown, I’ve shrunk, which is good. That is, I need less space. I used to live in bigger houses when I had family. My current apartment is the smallest one I’ve had, apart from a brief stay in my daughter’s granny flat. And this one suits me perfectly… just for me. Were there someone else living with me, it would not. I’ve downsized my book collection: when I exceed the half a bookcase I’ve assigned it, I pass some on. I only keep the ones I have an affectionate attachment to, or that I think I may want to read again. As for clothes, that’s a work in progress. I tend to accumulate too many (as I have of kitchen things) and every now and then I have to make myself shed the ones I don’t use much or at all. Like shedding skins.

    1. Thanks, Christina. I’m glad my post entertained. I don’t think you’ve shrunk at all, but maybe some things in your life have changed to better meet your needs. And wants. I love the idea of tiny houses (for which think your smaller apartment). Before I met John, I was contemplating moving to a tiny house, with one living area which included the bed, perhaps on a mezzanine, and a largish table which would double for dining with guests as well as a study space. Our apartment is a response to my idea of a two-person tiny house that was also acceptable to John.

      Books are the bane of my life. I’ve downsized a great deal over the last ten years, from a whole room with three walls of books to a couple of bookshelves. I’m in awe of someone like you who has half a book case! Our books have been culled and culled, and still there are too many. One day, perhaps, we’ll let go more of them.

  2. As usual, Maureen, for me you have got it right. I always love your lists. One, perhaps, i might need to attend or add or whatever: the size of my wine glass! Maybe tomorrow – not tonight!

    1. No, Elizabeth, if the size of your glass works for you tonight, it will be perfect tomorrow, I promise. Do not, repeat, do not, downsize anything that works!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your response to the challenge. I have long since admired your downsizing skills.

    Four years into the downsizing move to live in one side of my house and I am only too aware that it’s time to do a little more downsizing. It’s true to say I have only worn a quarter of the clothes hanging in the wardrobe during the past four years. My PJ drawer is full of sets that have seen better days and the underwear drawer needs an upgrade.

    1. Thanks, SueW, I’m glad you enjoyed reading the response to the challenge, which I realised just before I posted it was a photo challenge. I’ll get this right, sooner or later!

      Downsizing seems to be an ongoing occupation, once you start, doesn’t it! I’m loving having a ‘capsule’ wardrobe. It’s a somewhat extended capsule, I must admit, but it makes getting dressed for any occasion really easy, and I feel comfortable in my clothes. I now tell myself, ‘one thing in, one out’ and it works well. Good luck with the PJ drawer and underwear upgrade. Sounds like fun to let things go and replace them.

      1. I regard all our prompts and challengs as flexible, free to do as you please. Anyway, you included a photo, so challenge met! Thank you Maureen 🙂

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