Learn how to declutter your belongings before downsizing
A large house or living space may sound great, but it can come with a lot of maintenance and upkeep requirements that can be a burden for some.
Many people will downsize at some point in their life, moving to a new city, their kids moving out, or they may simply want to change their lifestyle.
Downsizing and decluttering is a great opportunity to refresh and start new, but it can also be very daunting and stressful to think about getting rid of some of your belongings.
Continue reading to learn our top five tips for how to downsize your home.
#1: Start as soon as possible and make a plan
It’s a good idea to start this process as early as possible to give yourself enough time without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. A couple of weeks to a couple of months is a realistic timeline depending on the size of your current home.
It’s also important to make a clear plan. If possible, visit your new home to measure the rooms and any storage space you’ll have. This will give you a more accurate idea how much you will need to downsize. You may own items that won’t fit into your new smaller home, this will help you know which of your belongings you must get rid of or possibly put into a storage unit.
#2: Declutter one room at a time
Moving is a big task and there’s no reason to try to do it all at once. Plan to tackle one room at a time. Avoid starting in a big room with a lot of clutter, such as the kitchen, garage, or living room.
If decluttering room by room seems too overwhelming, create multiple smaller projects within a room, such as:
- Cleaning out unwanted clothes and shoes
- Assessing your junk drawer
- Organize your kitchen items
- Go through DVDs, electronics, and games
Downsizing your home may mean that you won’t have some of the rooms you currently have, like an office or garage. When you’re decluttering the rooms you will no longer have, it’s important to try to get rid of as much as possible, since you will no longer have that space.
#3: Set guidelines for your items
It can be easy to start to make exceptions for items or create “maybe” piles. The best way to avoid this is to set strict rules for your items and create 3 designated piles: keep, donate, trash/recycle. By sticking out these three set categories, you’ll avoid making exceptions and end up keeping too much.
When you’re going through your belongings, take a hard look at each of the items. A good rule to follow is that if you haven’t used it in a year, you should donate it or throw it away. Another method that was recently popularized in the past years is the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo. This method tackles belongings by category, such as clothes, books, and sentimental items; keeping only what speaks to the heart and sparks joy.
#4: Create a plan for your unwanted items
It’s important to know what you’re planning on doing with your unwanted items. Donating to a local charity or a Goodwill is always a good option. You can also ask your family and friends to come over and look at your unwanted items to see if there’s anything they could use. Another option would be to sell your items online on a website like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
#5: Digitize when possible
Over the years, you may have gathered many photo albums or collections that you don’t have the space for any more. Luckily, there are many options for digitizing these photos and taking photos of items from large collections that you might not be able to keep.
It’s also a good idea to digitize any paper clutter, such as bills, receipts, and other documents. Paper documents can create a lot of clutter and by converting these papers into digital files you will not only save space, but save time when you need to go back to look for something.
Looking to downsize to a move-in ready rental property in Orlando?
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