Clutter Relief Services

10 Tips to Get Started on Your Downsizing Journey

Here are 10 tips for downsizing to help you get started journey!

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.

Now it’s time to make those decisions, so you can downsize.

1

It’s Never Too Early to Begin

You can start today! It’s easier to do it in pieces than to do it all at once. Starting now and doing a little bit everyday can help make the process less overwhelming.

2

Give Yourself Permission

Give yourself permission to let go of things. Thank your belongings and then release them to someone who will love and use them. It’s a mindset you have to put yourself in to successfully get rid of things that are no longer serving you. You have to allow yourself to downsize.

3

Decide What You Need to Keep and What You Want to Keep

Figure out what you really need to keep for sure and what you want to keep. You could even make a list of these items if that makes the process easier for you! A lot of seniors might not know the size of the place they are moving to but there are definitely going to be things that they need to keep and some items that they are unsure of. This means they like them but, they are not sure if these items are going to fit in their new dwelling.

4

Give Back Items That Don’t Belong to You

Once you start going through your belongings you might realize you have some things that you’ve borrowed in the past and have forgotten to return.

You may also have some things that have been left or stored in your home by your children or relatives. Then, you can make sure their items go back to them.

You can text or email pictures of items with descriptions to them such as, “Do you want the tools back that you lent me so I could make my garden?” or “How about the boxes of your high school sports memorabilia?”

Once you get an answer from them and know if they want their items back, give them a timeline to pick up their belongings. If they don’t want their stuff back it becomes yours to dispose (donate or sell) of as you wish.

5

Decide What Items Friends and Family Want

Are there items that you no longer want anymore?

Before getting rid of them ask your friends and family if they would like them.

For instance, who wants the large painting from above the fireplace, the dining set, the dresser from the spare room or the good china?

You can make a list of who wants what items if you are not ready to get rid of the items yet.

Alternatively, you can have them come and pick it up if it’s something you can part with right away!

6

Decide if Items Should be Sold or Donated

When thinking about the items in your home that you no longer need, are you okay with them being donated to a good cause or do you think there is a need for them to be sold in the marketplace?

Do you have a way to sell it? Maybe you have enough for an online auction (something we can help with) or you might want to try Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace.

7

Choose a Charity (or two) to Donate

You may not have a preference to where your items are going just as
long as they are being re-used. However, you might want to give to a charity like a church you’re involved with or a local organization like The Good Shepherd or The Salvation Army or Compassion Society.

8

How Large is Your New Space and How Much Storage is There?

Even if you don’t know the specifics of your new space, like square footage, number of bedrooms etc. think about the storage available to you. If you’re going from a house to condo or a house to a retirement home or a house to your kids basement, try to get the measurements and think how much of that space would be storage. 

Try not to have a storage unit. It’s costly and you won’t revisit it. With the amount of money you would spend on the storage unit to store things that you aren’t going to use, you could usually buy the things you store twice over! It’s just not worth it.  

If you have some storage in the new place you’re moving into like your kid’s basement you can  hang on to some items like seasonal decorations, such as your Christmas tree. However, a lot of condos and retirement homes do not have a lot of storage. So be proactive in deciding what comes with you and where it would go.

Also, photos can be scanned and downloaded onto a USB stick or directly into your computer and can then be shared with all your family. This will save a lot of space as you won’t have to store them anymore.

9

What Can I Buy New to Add Enjoyment To My Life?

You may want to buy something new that replaces something you already own that needs an upgrade.

For example, let’s say you have a really old couch with flowers on it and you want the new space to look more updated and modern so you purchase a new couch! Or maybe you need to upgrade your tv because it’s old and you’ve had it for many years. Also, maybe it’s a new mattress you need because nothing beats a great night of sleep!

Keep these in mind. You will most likely be making money if you own property so hopefully you can afford to buy some new things. And, you don’t have to move everything with you. Buy a few new things that will give you enjoyment in your life.

10

Can I Do This on My Own? Do I Need Help?

If your kids or other family members live far away and you live by yourself, you most likely will need some help. However, if your kids nearby have time or you have a spouse and you are willing to go through things together then you might be able to do it on your own. 

Nonetheless, if this all seems too overwhelming don’t worry! We are here for you! Professional Organizers, like us at Clutter Relief Services can help the process by taking you down memory lane but not staying there.

You can tell us stories. We value your time and memories and can help hold your hand, go through your things together and help you so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. In addition, we can manage the project from starting to declutter all the way to unpacking in your new home.

Hopefully these 10 tips for downsizing has helped you see that we can assist you with making difficult decisions. Our professional organizing team loves helping clients with downsizing. Contact us today.

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