6 Tips for Downsizing Effectively
Your home is a reflection of what's important to you. Ideally, it's a place that energizes you and serves as a restful base. No matter what the size of your home, it should be functional and comfortable, so having what you need is essential. What you choose to keep is about living well and controlling how you spend your time and resources.
If you're planning to downsize, you will likely need to cut down on your possessions to some extent, and this is a great opportunity to take a look at how closely what you have lines up with what you want. Downsizing can help you free yourself from stuff that you may not even remember you have. Evaluating your needs is a way of checking in with yourself and something that we often don't take time for.
As you prepare for a move to smaller digs, keep these 6 tips in mind:
Give yourself time: You know your schedule and how much organizing you'll need to do; be sure to start well ahead of time. Many experts recommend 3 months.
Take inventory and assess your needs: Make sure there's a purpose for everything you have, and that you've taken the time to inventory the items you'll want to bring with you on your new adventure.
Cut back: Eliminate duplicates and get rid of things that have been stored for years. If it's broken or stained, get rid of it. Categorize items: keep, sell, and give away. Get an appraisal on high value items. If you're keeping something to give to someone "someday," do it now! Your new friends: Ebay, Freecycle, 1-800-got-junk, Craigslist.
Look for storage options: Always look for quality over quantity. Furniture that does double duty as storage is excellent for smaller spaces. Consider ottomans that open for storage, and chests and tables with drawers or storage areas. Don't go out and buy a lot of plastic storage containers! Just more clutter.
Measure your furniture: Before the move, measure all of the furniture you plan to take, to insure that it will fit the new space. This will help you decide on whether to keep different pieces.
Move large items first: As the move commences, start with the large pieces and get them situated in the space. This gives you an accurate idea of how much space you'll have for smaller items, and may lead you to eliminate more stuff. Try not to bring things along to "sort out later." Later can be very elusive, as you know.
Whatever the circumstances may be that are leading you to downsize, it can be a very positive time. Reduce the stress you may feel by giving yourself time and listening to yourself. Be realistic about your needs, but don't deprive yourself. Your home should be a comfort, so if you really need that painting that you did in 8th grade, by all means bring it.