If you have decided to downsize into a smaller place, you’ve already made the difficult decision to sell your home. The next set of difficult decisions involves what to take with you. In your new home, you won’t have the room for everything you own. Also, you have made the decision to downsize your living space, so it makes no sense to be overcrowded from day one. You have to approach the process as one of getting ready for your new life, not shutting down the old one.
In most homes, you can get rid of 30% of its contents and never miss it for a second. How much could you live without it your new home?
Deciding What Makes The Cut
Discarding, selling, or giving your possessions away can be a grueling experience, as for most of us clothes, knickknacks, and other items can be like old friends we don’t want to part with even if we have nothing more in common. When you know you’re going to move, here are a few things that you can do to make decluttering and downsizing less painful.
– Take time to grieve. Give yourself time to go through the decluttering process so that you can unemotionally part with what you know you need to part with.
– Break your decluttering down into small projects. If you mark on your calendar to clean out old cosmetics in the bathroom one day, purge your CDs and DVDs the next, and tackle the bookshelf on another day, you will feel less overwhelmed and have a sense of satisfaction when you are done for the day.
– Make every item pass the test of “Will this contribute to my new life? “If not, delegate the item to the pile of things you are discarding. Not sure what to give away and are what to pitch? Ask yourself “will this item contribute to someone else’s life?”.
– Leave no stone unturned. Keep in mind that no area of your possessions should be safe from the evaluation. If you have prided yourself on your good cooking all your life, you are not obliged to keep every cookbook you’ve ever bought. Keep your favorites or pass them on to your kids, and pack up the rest. If you love kitchen gadgets, seriously consider what you use. If that pasta maker or ice cream maker has years of dust on it, it’s time to pass it on.
– Give yourself a few breaks. If you come across something you love but don’t use, you may let it slip into the pile of items to take. If you do that too much, your pile won’t shrink enough to fit into your new home. You can however put a few items aside to reevaluate later down the decluttering process.
– Take it away. Nothing makes it easier for you to second-guess yourself than to have boxes or bags of unwanted items hanging around your home. When you have a few breaks, get them to their destination. You won’t be tempted to pull items out of the discard pile and will see the results of your hard work.
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|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here.|