What are the Best Ways to Downsize?

You’ve decided to downsize. Now it’s time to get ready to make the move. That means paring down your possessions and getting rid of items you no longer need or want. It’s also an opportunity to pass on sentimental items to family and friends.

Most of all, it’s an opportunity to redefine your life by freeing yourself from objects that might be holding you back, cluttering your mind, and obscuring your goals.

Downsizing & What To Think About

You don’t want to rush the process of downsizing your possessions, but you don’t want to use it as an excuse for procrastinating either. Set a timeline and enlist some help if you need to. Staying organized is key. Here are a few things to think about when downsizing.

Your Emotions

First, recognize that downsizing can be an emotional process. Getting rid of possessions and moving from a family home are big decisions. t’s natural to feel anxious and even a little sad. Don’t deny those feelings, but don’t let them overwhelm you or paralyze you from taking action either. Try to focus on the benefits of downsizing — and there are a lot of them. It’s like embarking on a new part of your life, which can be both exciting and a little scary.

Be Realistic

Be realistic about your needs. Go for the most obvious options first. You don’t need that extra set of dishes or three red winter coats. That ugly wall art you’ve never liked? Get rid of it. Clothes that don’t fit or are hopelessly out of style? Out they go.

Make Piles

Make three piles. If you’ve done any organizing in the past, you’ve probably heard this advice: make a keep pile, a give away/sell pile, and a throw away pile. As you go through drawers, closets, cupboards, and shelves, designate each item to one of those piles. What about items like photos and videos that take up space but are too precious to get rid of? Transfer them to a thumb drive, or better yet, cloud storage where they’ll be safe and easy to find (and share with others).

Involve the Family

Once you’ve identified the items you want to keep, it’s time to let loved ones take their share. There may be specific items you want to pass on to a certain relative or friend. Any leftovers can be made available to loved ones. And make sure to offer your kids all their old school papers and trophies.

Disperse & Dispose

Decide how you want to free yourself from the remaining items. A yard sale, eBay, Craigslist, and other online marketplaces can help you turn possessions into cash. But don’t let slow sales delay your entire plan. Set a time limit, and if they don’t sell, donate them to a charity. Or bypass the whole selling hassle and donate right from the start.

The Future

 Think about your new home and your lifestyle. Maybe you’re moving to a condo. That means you won’t need all those lawn tools. Your new home has two bedrooms instead of four? Ditch all that extra bedding. Be honest about your hobbies too. If you haven’t touched those acrylic paints in years, there’s a good chance you won’t use them in your future either (plus, they’re probably dried out). You can always invest in fresh supplies if you change your mind.

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Check out more of our information on downsizing.

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