Downsizing can be both tough and emotionally exhausting. However, it can also be a blessing in disguise. Remember, it took you years to accumulate your stuff, so ask yourself this when you start – “When was the last time I used this item?” The goal is to keep the clutter or stuff from entering your new space. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.
1. Take Inventory
Take inventory of what you have. You might be surprised at how much stuff you have accumulated over the years.
2. Make a List
Make a list of the items you love and can’t live without. Keep in mind, you can’t take everything with you.
3. Sentimental Objects
Take a few key items that are extremely special to you. And if you have children, give them each a couple of items and the meaning behind them. If it’s of value and no one in your family wants it, sell it or donate it to a charity.
4. Make a Plan
Over a 3 month period, commit to some manageable dates to complete the process. Obtain a floor-plan or exact dimensions of your new space (it helps make decisions easier to rid yourself of items that are too big to take along).
5. Start with Less Used Areas of your Home
Because there are usually less sentimental attachments to items in these areas, it can make it easier to begin there and make decisions.
This usually takes the longest, so I have listed this a a separate point. Downsize your wardrobe and free yourself from the clothes that you:
- haven’t worn in a year,
- loved it 5 years ago…. or
- that you were going to wear when you lost 20 pounds
Just let them go! If you lose the weight, treat yourself to something new.
7. Invest in a scanner
All those boxes of documents and photos you think you need to keep… scan them onto your computer or save them to a disk. Also, you can get most bills sent to you electronically these days so this will help cut down on paper!
8. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Try not to throw things in the garbage. Recycle where you can, sell or donate. It’s easy to throw things out, but try and be environmental responsible and find a home for it. Consider a garage sale if the season permits.
9. Colour Coding/Labelling
When you are boxing up the items you are taking with you, use a colour coding system or label the boxes clearly, room by room. This makes things so much easier for moving and unpacking.
10. Get Help
If you feel it is too overwhelming or you cannot do it alone, hire someone to help you. It helps to have an objective person to guide you through it and to help you part with your stuff.
We do not suggest getting a storage unit, because you will just move the clutter there. Now is the time to go through it and do one of three things; recycle, sell it or donate.
Say goodbye to that stuff and don’t look back. You won’t miss it… It’s only stuff. The benefits to downsizing are living clutter free, feeling calm and more energized. And, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain!
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Until next time,