Whether you are moving into a smaller home or just need to simplify your stuff, downsizing is important. Certain items can hold memories of good times, but some of it is just unnecessary for you to hang on to. If you are frustrated with dusting around, planning around, and moving around all that stuff, we have some downsizing guidelines for you that will help!
1. Set Your Intentions and Goals
The first question you need to ask yourself before you follow these downsizing guidelines is, “why am I doing this?” This will give you more purpose and meaning to move forward. We might really want to downsize in our minds, but our hearts often have a hard time letting go. When you set an intention and goal, you set yourself up for the challenge. Acknowledge that it will be a challenge and embrace it.
Figure out your motivations for why you keep what you do. What do you want to change? Are you seeking to have more experiences than items in your life? Want to be more of a minimalist? Want to clean less? These answers will reassure you of what you can give up. Make these downsizing guidelines your own!
2. Set Your Parameters
Once you’ve answered why you are really doing this, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to downsize. For example, if you are moving into a smaller space, knowing the exact dimensions of the space you’ll be acquiring will be crucial to know if you need to get rid of big furniture or smaller things. If you are just tired of looking at things that aren’t being used, one of your parameters can be “has it been used this year?” If not, then it can go! Set up a system to downsize by date. If you don’t use them within the date allotted, they can go.
3. Make a Destination Plan
Just wanting to downsize and even knowing what you want to get rid of is not enough. After you know what you will downsize, you must decide where they will go. Throwing items away that might still have some life in them is just a waste. Think of people in your life that might be in need. If you can’t think of anyone that might benefit from your giveaways, it’s time to donate or sell! Make a plan to go on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or even to your local consignment shop to donate or sell these items, wherever it makes sense.
4. Figure Out How to Downsize
Part of this entire process will rely on a lot of important factors. This factor is maybe the most essential for planning. If you have a refrigerator that is ready to go, it’s no use if you don’t know how it will be transported. Once you know what is being downsized, you will know what kind of help or transport is needed. You might not need to even consider this problem, as you could just do this on your own. It all depends on the amount or size of item(s) you have.
5. Set a Date
Now you have a why, what and how to downsize your stuff… now you must choose when! Setting a date really seals the deal that this WILL happen. It’s almost the last step in freeing yourself from things in your life that are burdening you.
6. Breath and Prepare to Let Go
This step might not be necessary for some, but many people find it extremely taxing to let go of their stuff. If you are one of those people, don’t worry. You can do this! It’s a big change. Acknowledging these emotions is essential for the closure we often need.
Here are a couple of helpful tips!
- Start Small. Maybe you have a lot you need to address. Do it little by little and start with items that don’t have sentimental value. You can work your way up to more meaningful items in time.
- Give yourself motivation by selling the item you are letting go of and then donate the funds to a cause that you want to support.
- Repurpose items. If you are having a really hard time getting rid of a certain shirt or fabric, turn it into a pillow or upholstery piece!
- Keep 1 out of a collection. That way, you can harness the memories of the collection in that 1 piece.
- Pass it down. Something cherished can always be given to those that we care about. Let them know the story behind it and why it meant so much to you.
- Get excited about cleaning less! This motivation, among others, is sometimes enough to do it. With less stuff to clean, that gives you more time to focus on other things!
Bottom Line for Downsizing Guidelines
We hope these downsizing guidelines have helped! You are taking a big step in changing your life. It may just be stuff, but it can really take hold of us in many ways. Take inspiration from resources such as Marie Kondo. Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it. Buy everyone pizza and make a day out of it! Hire a decluttering expert if you can afford and need it. Happy downsizing!
Are you downsizing to prepare to move into a smaller place? Gregg Sutter has taken numerous real estate courses and has earned the following designations: Residential Relocation, Senior Real Estate Specialist, Residential Investment Specialist, and New Home Construction Specialist. Gregg Sutter would love to help you shop for that perfect fit! Contact him today!