Downsizing offers many benefits (as shared HERE), but the thought of downsizing and parting ways with your belongings can be stressful. Where do you start? What do you keep? What do you toss? How will you move-on without everything – without bringing your “cherished belongings” into your tighter space?
First off, take a deep breath if you’re on the verge of hyperventilating. Second, understand that by downsizing you’ll be on the path of removing all the things that are weighing you down and instead rising up to a simpler and more enjoyable life. To help you get started, we’ve listed the following strategy:
1) Make an inventory of your belongings. Do you know what you own? How many duplicates do you have? How many broken items do you own that you’re awaiting to fix, but have been awaiting for 6+ months? A year? Therefore, to pare down your belongings, walk through your home and document exactly what you own and its condition. Afterwards, this list not only will help you identify duplicates, broken pieces, outdated things, and unneeded items, but it will help serve as a packing list.
2) Visit your new home and take measurements of your rooms and storage areas. Use this as a guide to help you decide what possessions and furniture you’ll keep or eliminate.
3) As you’re looking at your inventory and the layout of your new home, start sorting. Create a yes pile and a no pile. A rule of thumb, if it doesn’t bring value and/or you haven’t used it recently, or it’s a duplicate, place it in the no pile. If you use it regularly, find it useful, or you love it and it brings value, then keep it. Next, divvy up your no pile between items that you can sell, donate, give to someone else, and toss. Sell unneeded items that are in good condition either at a yard sale, at a consignment store, or online (i.e. Facebook Marketplace, Offer-Up, Craigslist, Poshmark, ThreadUp, etc…). If you don’t have the time or place to sell, then give items away – either to a charity or family/friends. Recycle if possible, if not, throw-away broken or worn-out items. Tip of the day, do this as soon as possible so you don’t convince yourself to store or keep the item again.
4) Photos and papers can take up much space. Therefore, to save space and easily preserve these items, you can scan and digitize them. In fact, instead of storing pictures in old boxes or dusty albums, digitize them and display them on a digital frame for all to enjoy – you can even place them in a rotating slideshow as a screensaver on your computer or TV. Similarly, instead of holding to every artwork your child makes, craft you’ve made, and keepsake you own, you can give it new life by snapping a photo of these and similarly placing them in a digital frame for all to see. Furthermore, this tip works great with kids belongings. Kids have a hard time of letting go. However, you can have them snap a picture of everything they like and create a scrapbook of their favorite things in lieu of holding onto the pieces they’re no longer using.
5) Lastly, as Nike says, Just Do It. Put on some high-energy music, grab garbage bags and boxes for keeping and discarding, and take confident action. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t create a “maybe” pile. Don’t be on the fence. Just do it.
As always, if you need any help listing or buying a home, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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