It’s no wonder that Decluttering is THE hot topics these days, especially because Boomers like you and me are downsizing, moving, or repurposing parts of their home. Just the word makes it sound like a big job, but actually, it doesn’t have to be. Here are my best tips for downsizing like a pro!
How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. It’s how people accomplish great things, one step at a time. And downsizing is no different!
Start with one drawer. That’s it. Next day, do another drawer or a shelf. After 30 days you will have accomplished quite a lot.
Turn a critical eye on things like old unused kitchen items, small appliances, shoes, clothing that no longer fits, outdated artwork, tools, sporting equipment, papers and magazines (National Geographic, anyone?), collections, craft miscellany, and the like.
Before you really get into downsizing and decluttering, ask yourself these questions for all of your possessions:
Do I need it?
Do I like it?
Do I use it?
Does it work?
Is it mine?
Is it clean and ready to use?
Could I use it today?
If you would not use it today, who or what are you saving it for?
Here’s the biggest question to ask yourself: Does this item represent the person I am today and/or my lifestyle today? Please don’t keep things that just don’t work for you or your life today!
If your closet is bursting with clothes that you don’t often wear, try this easy experiment: Hang all of your clothes with the hangers facing the same way. Once you wear something, turn the hanger the opposite way. Check your progress a month or two from now. How much of your wardrobe are you actually wearing? For most people, the answer is about twenty percent! Time to downsize!
Don’t take it personally, but your kids really don’t want most of (or any of) your stuff. Take this tip seriously! Having been through the process ourselves, my husband and I found out quickly that our initial vision of what we would eventually do with our stuff wasn’t realistic. Case in point: my husband always assumed that his library of history and law books would go to his son.
But in an age of e-books, iPads and Kindles, books are kind of going out of style. Today’s young generation doesn’t make room for them. They have other priorities beyond acquiring your stuff.
So accept that the furniture and china that you have treasured through the years doesn’t ring true with your kids either, for the most part. Did you like all of your parent’s stuff? Chances are you started fresh when you ventured out on your own.
If that china is really dear to you, how about keeping just half of it? Or the cups and saucers, or just the dinner plates. Even better: get rid of your mismatched everyday set and use your china for every day instead of storing it for special occasions. A win-win!
Remember that if you are moving to a new place, it will have a different vibe. You may just want to start fresh with a new set of dishes, new sheets and towels, and some updated, more appropriate furnishings for your life now.
Just think: the burden of storing all of the stuff, cleaning it and using it will be off your shoulders. And your ongoing mantra will be to “live light” from now on. If you think twice about anything new you bring into your home, your reward will be a home that gives you room to live life to the fullest now.
Ready for a redesign or remodel after decluttering/downsizing? That’s my specialty! Click below for more information.