Rightsizing Benefits + Tips
Downsizing is a key part of simplifying your life, cutting costs, and relocating. It can also be a daunting and emotional task, but it doesn’t have to be. Explore the tips below for help, and learn more about the advantages that proper downsizing can bring to your life.
Start Small, Start Early
Downsizing is made far more difficult the more you put it off. You don’t have to think of it as a single huge project! Start today, and start with something as simple as cleaning out one drawer in your kitchen or bathroom. Have more towels or bedding than you ever use? Set them aside for donation or disposal.
The more you incorporate a downsizing, clutter-reducing habit into your daily life, the easier the process will become, and the less heavy-lifting there will be when the time comes to relocate.
Another excellent tip, especially if you’re relocating very soon, is to start by packing items you’re certain to want rather than starting with all the stuff you won’t bring along. Starting with your “keepers” will make the process feel more positive, manageable, and productive.
If you’re moving into a smaller condo, apartment, or senior living community, you’ll probably have fewer rooms and less storage space. Keep this in mind as you make your downsizing plan!
A great strategy is to begin with rooms you won’t have at your new residence. Places like your garage, basement, attic, backyard shed, or spare bedroom are good examples. Make it a weekend project to clear out one area at a time. Remember to start small and start early! If a garage or attic is simply too big to handle in one day or weekend, invite friends or family over to help, or give yourself more time. Segmenting your downsizing room-by-room will help keep an overwhelming task far more manageable.
Remove Clutter, but Keep Memories
A great way to cut down on clutter is to get rid of duplicate items, like kitchen tools, books and magazines, decor and furniture, clothing, linens, and others. This is a process you can start today and keep doing every day, as you come across clutter around your home. How many coffee cups do you really need?
Another thing that trips up a lot of people who are downsizing is what to do with cherished collections and items that hold memories and emotional value. For example, boxes full of old photos, albums, or slides can be digitized and stored on a digital photo frame, tablet, or computer. Collections you know you won’t have space to display can be photographed in high-resolution and added to a coffee-table album you can enjoy for years.
It’s important not to be overly ruthless with your cherished items, though. Be sure to be honest with yourself about what you’ll genuinely regret discarding and what you probably won’t. Consider keeping only your “favorite” item or two from a collection.
Sell, Gift, & Donate Items
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of selling your unneeded stuff! While a consignment shop or yard sale can be quick and fairly effective, there are tons of places to sell items online, which can potentially make you a lot more money. Look into sites like eBay, Craigslist, and others, and get help from younger friends and relatives. You never know how much your items might be worth to the right buyers.
There are also many charities, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and others, who will be glad to take your items for a tax-deductible donation. Your unneeded stuff might be just the thing a struggling family truly needs!
Also, if you really can’t stand the idea of losing certain cherished items, turn them into legacy gifts and heirlooms. Think about younger family members who might really enjoy these things and use them regularly. It’s never too early to pass along important family pieces. Plus, you’ll still get to see and enjoy these items whenever you visit.
Get Help, & Have Fun
If you plan your downsizing right and break it up into manageable pieces, it can be a fun activity for the whole family. Invite over your younger friends and relatives for a day of memories and bonding. Send the grandkids on a treasure hunt in the attic. Share your stories as you look at your belongings, and make new memories everyone will cherish for a lifetime.
Embrace the process, and it will become a fun and confidence-inspiring task that will simplify your life and make your relocation far easier.