The older we get, the more stuff we accumulate; this can lead to some degree of clutter unless you’re organized from the get-go. So whether moving to a smaller home or just wanting to use your space more efficiently, now is the time to downsize your life!

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Downsizing often goes hand in hand with decluttering, and it’s the practice of going through your belongings and keeping what you need and what matters most while throwing out or giving away anything excess. Any clutter that exists in your home should be gone by the time you’re done downsizing.

For tips on how to deal with clutter specifically, we recommend reading our Decluttering blog!

When downsizing your home, it is crucial to be strict with yourself when deciding what to keep and give up. We understand that this may be hard; you may be thinking, “My house isn’t cluttered now; I must not need to get rid of much when I’m downsizing.” However, if you are moving to a smaller space, you must remember that you likely won’t have room for excess stuff you have now.

While storing items is an option, we recommend avoiding paying for a storage unit. In addition to being an extra expense sucking up your paycheck every month, storage units allow you to have somewhere to hide away all the clutter where you won’t see it every day, and it’s easier to forget about. Since they’re out of sight and out of mind, storage units tend to get just as cluttered as your home or office, if not more. If you already have a storage unit, downsizing comes into play there as much as it does in your home. If you need help organizing or downsizing your storage unit, we would love to be of service!

Before and After pictures of a storage unit we’ve worked on.

When going through your belongings, you have to make some tough decisions. If you’re a sentimental person, it can be hard to let go of some things. So here are some tips on what you should keep vs. what needs to go:

Things to keep:

  • Vital paper documents/medical records.

  • Try to digitize everything you can and only keep the necessary papers (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.)

  • Switch to paperless billing! It’ll help the environment, AND you won’t have a massive pile of old bills hogging your desk space!

  • Clothes you wear all the time.

  • Priceless heirlooms that can’t be sold or donated

  • Anything you ABSOLUTELY can’t picture living without

  • Only your favorite books, CDs, DVDs, etc. that are your absolute favorites or you know you want to read

  • Once again, digitize anything you can! If you can switch to an online reading platform or upload all your CDs to your laptop, you will save so much space!!

Things to get rid of:

  • Any magazines or lose papers you may have.

  • Shred papers containing any personal or essential information that you no longer need.

  • Anything you haven’t worn in a year

  • Any utensils, Tupperware, toys, etc. that you never reach for

  • Anything chipped or broken

  • Unused furniture

  • Decorative items that aren’t being used or you aren’t absolutely in love with (this includes any little knick-knacks that you can’t remember why you have)

Remember that when we say to “get rid of” things, that doesn’t necessarily mean throwing them to the curb with this week’s trash.

Take a look at Giving Back blog to get an idea of what can be donated and some places you can likely find near you that would take contributions!

Downsizing can be challenging. If you find yourself unable to decide what should stay and what should go, we are more than happy to help! We’ve helped many clients downsize and would love to help you condense your belongings to what you need and love the most.

Throughout this process, you will find yourself feeling lighter and your mind growing calmer. By the end, you’ll be left with the belongings that are the most important to you and a mindset that will leave you less stressed and ready for whatever comes next!

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