Scaling Down Book Summary - Scaling Down Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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.

Table of Contents

    Scaling Down
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    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.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Scaling Down?

    Key ideas in Scaling Down

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    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.

    Categories with Scaling Down

    Book summaries like Scaling Down

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    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