The Art of Downsizing or Just Plain Minimizing ~ Made Simple

Phase One

Does the thought of “downsizing” bring forth an emotional reaction and a challenge? With a simple plan it can become an adventure ending in huge relief as though a burden has been lifted. In a demanding world where everything vies for our attention, purging pointless clutter can help make for a clearer outlook.
Are you one who pitches stuff too soon only to wonder whatever happened to that article a year later? Or are you the sentimental type who likes to keep everything? Let’s just come out and say it, have you been pack ratting for decades? The latter presents more of a challenge but it’s doable! Whichever category you find yourself, go forth undaunted. It’s well worth the effort in the long run.
Here are a few simple steps to attack the elephant…bite by bite. So, let’s take one step (or bite) at a time!

  1. Assess. Take an objective look at all you have. Consider your current home size to the home you plan to move to taking into consideration how much storage you expect to have. Perhaps you are moving from a large home in Woodmoor to a much smaller townhome in Briargate. Walk through all the rooms of your home. Open all your cupboards, closets and storage cabinets and assess all your belongings. What is sitting on your tabletops, or stashed in your garage? What is truly important in your life and what are you just keeping because you think you should?
  2. Prepare. Get ready with boxes and large garbage bags. There are many places to find boxes – check Craigslist, Facebook (post a request), grocery stores and bookstores for free boxes. Or you can purchase bags and nice neat boxes in uniform sizes from your local office supply, moving company or home improvement store! It’s a good feeling to be prepared up front.
  3. Plan Your Attack. Remember, not the whole elephant, only one bite at a time. Downsize room-by-room and closet-by-closet. Determine where you want to start. Perhaps your kitchen, or maybe your office. Write down your plan to keep yourself on track. Feel free to rearrange your plan, after all it is your plan, make it work for you.
  4. Decisions. Do you keep the item or do you get rid of it? Do you give it away, do you have a garage sale or do you sell it online? If you’re not a minimalist, you will have to be really brutal with yourself. A good rule to follow is that if an item is something you haven’t used in a year, then why keep a dust collector that clamors for attention? Do you really need ten-year old software, or 20 china cups? Will you ever really reread all those books? Start by categorically grouping your stuff boxing items to be pitched, donated or sold each box to be labeled according to its destination.
  5. Dispose. Complete this stage by storing your boxes in their own designated area out of the way, in the garage, basement, or wherever you have room. Begin the disposal process by giving yourself a target completion time frame. Set a date for your garage sale or begin to advertise your items to sell on Craigslist.

Congratulations – what an accomplishment! Now take a big sigh of relief before your next step of the downsize journey.
Phase Two coming next time ~ Downsizing Your Furniture