Scaling Down Book Summary - Scaling Down Book explained in key points
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Scaling Down summary

Judi Culbertson, Marj Decker

Living Large in a Smaller Place

4.2 (60 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

Scaling Down by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker is a practical guide for downsizing your home and simplifying your life. It offers advice on decluttering, organizing, and letting go of possessions, and emphasizes the benefits of living with less.

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    Scaling Down
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    If you want to scale down, start by creating a Scaling Down Mission Statement.

    Is your closet or garage overflowing with old stuff that you refuse to throw away? Or maybe you even pay for an external storage unit if you live in a city where closet space is a luxury reserved for the lucky few!

    If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Keeping too much stuff has been an American trend ever since the Great Depression.

    In the early 1930s, people ravaged by the economic recession simply couldn’t afford to throw out anything unless it served absolutely no purpose.

    But, of course, old habits die hard and mentalities are naturally inherited from generation to generation. So, even when conditions improved, the mindset of keeping anything that might be even slightly useful, whether now or in the future, was passed on to the next generation.

    As a consequence, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, and what was once considered prudent thriftiness now looks more like out-of-touch greed.

    So you own seven sets of china and an entire wall of sneakers. That’s not unreasonable, right?

    Yeah, right. If you’ve realized that this hoarding mentality is ridiculous and wasteful, you’ve jumped one hurdle. But the next thing is actually to get rid of the excess, a process that can be a bit overwhelming – after all, there’s just so much stuff!

    To help yourself out, try creating a Scaling Down Mission Statement (SDMS).

    An SDMS articulates the motivation behind why you want to scale down. A sample SDMS might be something like, “My great aunt is moving into assisted living with less space, so I want to help her sort out the important belongings she’ll take with her.”

    If you’re struggling to put your goal into a clear one-liner like that, try jotting down just a few keywords. Maybe it’s “make room for home office” or “simple living.” Putting your ideas and goals on paper will both give you a clear destination and help you get there, too.

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    What is Scaling Down about?

    Scaling Down (2005) will help you understand the impulse to accumulate more things than you actually need, and why, once you’ve acquired those things, you don’t want to let them go. With a helpful step-by-step guide, it provides effective strategies for scaling down and learning to live with less.

    Scaling Down Review

    Scaling Down by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker (2005) is a useful guide for anyone looking to simplify their lives and downsize their possessions. Here are three reasons why this book stands out:

    • With its practical tips and step-by-step instructions, it empowers readers to confidently navigate the downsizing process and create a more manageable living environment.
    • Through real-life stories and relatable examples, the book offers inspiration and motivation, showing that downsizing can lead to a more fulfilling and stress-free life.
    • By addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of downsizing, the book recognizes the challenges involved and provides supportive guidance to help readers overcome obstacles along the way.

    Best quote from Scaling Down

    And so we keep on accumulating until, one day, we realize that we have been buried alive...

    —Judi Culbertson, Marj Decker
    example alt text

    Who should read Scaling Down?

    • Anyone who owns too much stuff
    • Collectors whose belongings have taken over their lives
    • Couples who are moving into a smaller home

    About the Author

    Judi Culbertson is an expert in organizing – so much so that she leads seminars on how to declutter one’s life. She is also the author of Traveling Light.

    Marj Decker is the CEO of Time is Priceless, a company based in Denver that helps people scale down to live a simpler life.

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    Scaling Down FAQs 

    What is the main message of Scaling Down?

    The main message of Scaling Down is to simplify our lives and find happiness in living with less.

    How long does it take to read Scaling Down?

    The reading time for Scaling Down varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Scaling Down a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Scaling Down is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to declutter and create a more balanced life.

    Who is the author of Scaling Down?

    The authors of Scaling Down are Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker.

    What to read after Scaling Down?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Scaling Down, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Minimalism by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
    • Mind Over Clutter by Nicola Lewis
    • Let It Go by Peter Walsh
    • Stuffocation by James Wallman
    • Love People, Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
    • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
    • How Not to Age by Michael Greger
    • Marketing Artificial Intelligence by Paul Roetzer & Mike Kaput
    • The More of Less by Joshua Becker
    • Hinch Yourself Happy by Mrs. Hinch