By Sue Pitchforth. The words "downsizing your home" tend to make most people cringe. This process can be overwhelming. It doesn't matter how long you have lived in your home, the stress builds as you come to the reality of having to make some pretty big decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. These decisions usually have to be made in a very short period of time.
It’s human nature to save and tuck things away just in case we need them. A move presents a perfect opportunity to simplify…a chance to free ourselves from all the “stuff” you really don’t need or use.
If you can’t decide on individual items, these questions can assist you in making these hard decisions:
- Have I used this in the past year?
- Am I likely to use it in the near future?
- Would it be difficult or costly for me to get another one?
- There are no right or wrong answers, but a NO answer gives you a good reason to let go.
Remember the 80/20 rule (Pareto's Principle). Most people only use 20% of what they have. The other 80% is just taking up valuable space. Also keep in mind, this could be a great opportunity for a transformation.
How do you know what to keep? What to get rid of? There’s no magic formula that I can share with you, but hopefully some of these tips will help make your downsizing journey a little easier:
- Write a list of all the items you love and can't live without
- Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before the move.
- Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home. Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check.
- Don't throw anything in the garbage. Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. The Salvation Army and 1-800-Got-Junk are a couple of options for donating your items and furniture.
You are on your way to a new realm of living small. Embrace this change. You no longer have to worry about the financial burden or time draining tasks of maintaining a home too big for your needs and you have simplified your life by surrounding yourself with only those things that are most important to you.
It’s an empowering feeling! Relax and enjoy your new surroundings!