Whether you’re considering downsizing or you have just had enough of the junk piling up in your house, it’s always a good time to clear your space.
The home downsizing process is your time to start thinking about “quality versus quantity”, “less is more”, “living with your best stuff”.
We all have a lifetime of collections and memories, but when it comes to downsizing and letting go, you need to decide which items you will keep, give to other family members, donate or sell.
This process can be daunting, overwhelming and sometimes too hard, but it is always rewarding – imagine being able to find things with ease and living without excess baggage!
So, where do you start?
1. Assess your living spaces
Whether you’re just decluttering at home, or moving to a smaller place, it’s a good idea to assess the space you have. A floor plan is handy for this. If you don’t have one, draw a plan yourself. You can measure the spaces and make note of these.
2. Take an inventory
Before you move anything, the first thing to do is take an inventory of your belongings. Ask yourself the hard questions, i.e. “If everything you owned was lost in a fire, what would I replace?”. What items are actually important to you, and what could you live without?
3. Make three lists
Must haves, can live withouts, and things I could replace. Your must haves will stay or go to your new place. Your “live withouts” are the things you could sell, donate, or get rid of entirely. Your “could replace” list should be reserved for things that you could potentially sell and buy something smaller that you’d like, like a smaller TV or smaller couch.
4. Make sure what you keep is really something you can’t live without
It can be hard to distinguish between something you want to keep and something you need to. To determine its necessity, ask yourself is it useful? Do you love it? Does it hold a sentimental value?
5. Do you need to own it? Could you borrow it or rent it when you need it?
Some of us have huge dining tables or even more practical things like bikes. We tend to spend money on things hoping one day it’ll have a use but the reality is, if you haven’t used a big item in the last year or more, consider selling it and only borrowing or renting it when you need it.
6. Take a picture
We all own sentimental items but it can be very hard to let go. If you’re having trouble saying goodbye to something that’s taking up space, you could take a photo of it instead.
7. Pick your storage containers
Square or rectangular pieces make better use of limited space than round containers do. Be practical with how you store items, and make sure what you keep is clearly marked, so it will be used at some stage.
8. Limit your collections
Collections are wonderful but sometimes they can get out of hand. Limit yourself to some key pieces, and store the rest or sell it if it’s no longer an avid collection.
9. Cut down those clothes
We’re all guilty of having far too many clothes, but do we really need them? You can usually get away with around 20 key items, plus accessories. Be lethal when it comes to getting rid of clothes. If you haven’t worn an item in recent memory, it might be time to sell it or donate it.
10. Don’t throw anything in the garbage if you can help it
Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. As tempting and easy as it is to throw everything in the bin, be environmentally responsible and find a home for everything.
The benefit of downsizing is that you won’t be an unconscious consumer any longer. Downsizing means keeping it simple and spending less time managing and cleaning stuff! Now you will have more time, money and energy to do the things you love!
Feels good, doesn’t it?