There are a lot of reasons you could be planning to downsize your home and, subsequently, your life. You could be planning an actual move to a smaller home, for example. This is common for empty nesters. You might also be planning to stay in the same home, but you want to get rid of clutter to prepare for a remodel. Maybe you just feel like you have too much “stuff,” and it’s complicating your life too much.

Regardless of your why’s, the following offers a plan that can help you as you start to downsize and declutter.

Effective Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Consider A Storage Space

storage space

If you’re going to downsize, this inevitably means that you’re going to be getting rid of some things in your home. This could mean getting rid of them permanently, but there might also be things that you aren’t ready to get rid of or maybe you would like to keep, even if they’re not in your house anymore.

You should go ahead and start thinking about renting a storage space. Yes, it’s an added cost to your monthly bills, but storage spaces are relatively inexpensive, and they give you the opportunity to put sentimental items away in a safe place without having them clutter your home.

Once you have a storage space, you can begin to decide what might go in it versus what you’re going to keep and what you’ll get rid of.

Begin As Soon As You Can

If you’re downsizing as part of a move, it’s important to get started as quickly as you can. This will give you the chance to take your time and go through everything in your house but not get too overwhelmed. If possible, consider giving yourself at least three months before you’re planning to move, but the sooner you can do it, the better.

Follow A Strategy

downsizing your home

If you’re downsizing your home or the entire house, there are varying methods of organization you can use. For example, there’s the KonMari Method, where you categorize your clutter and then get rid of what no longer “sparks joy” for you.

Another method is using four boxes, where you limit your options for what you can do with any item to four options. You have to keep, donate, trash/recycle and sell.

The hanger method is when you face all of the hooks on your hangers away from you in the closet. After wearing an item, you face the hanger towards you, and whatever’s facing away from you at six months, you donate or sell.

With the one-a-day method, you get rid of one item per day, or you can let go of the number of items that go along with the date. For example, you might give away 12 things on the 12th of the month.

You can also simply build your strategy around focusing on a single room at a time if you have to eventually get your entire house done.  It’s daunting to think about organizing and decluttering an entire home, so when you go room-by-room, you’re breaking it down into more manageable chunks.

As part of your decluttering strategy, you should also set ground rules for yourself. You want to have a set of rules for everything that you’re looking through, which can help you avoid simply moving items around rather than actually putting them where they belong.

Consider The New Space

If you’re downsizing your home to prepare for a move, you want to know the size of the area that you’re going to be fitting into. You want to know the room shapes and the square footage because then you’ll have a better idea of the larger pieces of furniture you can eliminate simply because they don’t fit.

If you don’t have exact measurements or you haven’t chosen a new place yet, you can focus on getting rid of the things you know for sure you don’t need.

What About Your New Lifestyle?

If you’re in the process of downsizing, it could be because you’re entering a new phase in your life, and you want your living environment to reflect that. What are you hoping to achieve from downsizing your home?

Look at the bigger goal as you’re preparing for this part of your life. You want to think not just about what will physically fit but what will mentally fit in the space you’re creating.

When you know your reasons and your goals, it can help you stay on track, whatever your plan might be. You can think about your why’s rather than getting stuck in the weeds of the process itself.

For example, maybe you’re downsizing your home because you want a smaller home that will let you travel more or spend time with people you love.

Decide How To Deal With Sentimental Items

You have to be careful when you’re downsizing your home or decluttering it not to attach sentimental meaning to everything, but there are going to be items that you genuinely have a connection to. You want to think about how you’ll handle those.

You might have some items you’re going to store, and then from there, maybe you can reach out to people in your family and see if they’re interested. If they’re not, you can also sell some of the items and then put the money in an account for your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones.

As far as the sentimental items, don’t over-save them. A lot of us like the concept of passing things down to our children or grandchildren, but in reality, they might not end up wanting or needing the items.

Digitize What You Can

digitize things

Finally, you might be surprised by what you can get rid of simply by going through paperwork and even old videos and photos and figuring out what you can digitize. You can digitize important documents, files, real estate information, and so many other things by going paperless. It’ll make your life easier, and it’s actually a safer way to store these items in case your home were to be affected by a disaster or a fire.

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