Make A PlanYou should aim to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to downsizing your home. Start with no more than two-hour increments so you do not stress and burn yourself out.
To decide which items are most valuable to you, head to a coffee shop (so you cannot look around) and make a list. Ask yourself, “If everything in my home was destroyed, what would I replace?” The things that readily come to mind are the most essential to you.
Gauge Your ParametersObtain the measurements of your new home’s closets and cabinets and mark off the same dimensions in your home so you know exactly how much space you will be working with. You will also need your new home’s floor plan and room measurements to decide where your larger items should be placed.
Start with the SimpleA good place to start downsizing your home is a room that is used the least. Begin with items that do not carry any personal attachment like kitchen appliances. If you start with sentimental pieces, you may get stuck in memory lane.
Organize Your PossessionsAs you sort items, consider the following categories: Gifts, Keep, Sell/Donate, Trash, and Storage.
Present heirlooms to your children and grandchildren now. Also, contact your family and friends and give away pieces you know they will value. Invite your children to claim their childhood keepsakes such as school projects, toys, and artwork etc.
Here are a few suggestions regarding items you would like to keep when downsizing your home.
Collections –If your collectables take up a lot of space, you may consider keeping your favourite three and taking pictures of the rest to put in a special album.
Duplicates – It may be tempting to take the newest set of dishes for example, but it will be more gratifying to take the ones you love and use the most.
Paperwork – Ask an accountant what records need to be kept and for how long and don’t discard the rest in the trash. Your privacy is important, call us about shredding confidential papers. Also, be sure to keep a memory box of your favourite cards and letters and consider digitizing the rest.
Photographs – Again, it is important to keep the ones that mean the most to you, however, making electronic copies means you can also give a set to your children.
Make some money from the items not coming with you: hold a yard sale, join a community buy/sell Facebook group, or contact an auction house. Contact charities to see what they will take. Schools sometimes take books, musical instruments, and tools for shop classes.
If it is broken, chipped, or stained – it’s time to toss. Do not keep worn out clothing. If there are pieces that are meaningful to you, consider cutting squares to make a quilt.
Although it is helpful to buy items with storage capacity, do not use it as an excuse to keep things you should be getting rid of. In addition, paying rent to hold items in a storage space should be considered carefully, “out of sight, out of mind.” Don’t pay to store items you will never use again and if they are worth less than the amount of rent to hold them, it may not be prudent.