There are countless reasons why we may come to a time in our lives when it will just make sense to downsize from the homes that we raised our families in, to a more financially and physically manageable space. Whether it is from acreage to a condo, to a townhouse to a condo, there are many variations on what your new happy space can look like. The task can definitely seem daunting, but there are steps that you can take that will have you breathing a sigh of relief rather than of discontentment. Here are just a few simple ways that will get you heading in this new and exciting direction!Steps to take to make downsizing much simpler:
1. Why Delay? Get started right away!
Being rushed = being stressed. As soon as you make the decision to make the move, and even before you contact your local real estate agent, it is a good idea to start the process of purging items that don't bring you joy right away. Also, give your family the time to decide if there are pieces of furniture they would like to incorporate into their homes. Take it slow so that you can avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed.
2. Start Small.
If you have raised 3 kids under your roof, you are bound to have what feels like a million sets of sheets, and an unnecessarily high amount of towels. Will you need all of this in your new space or can your new linen closet get away with being only 1/3 the size of your current one?
Speaking of linen closets - this is a perfect place to start. Start in the rooms where there are items that you will have the least amount of emotional attachment to, or rooms that have large items that require selling, and that you won't want to be moving on your own such as the garage.
3. No garage? No office? No problem
Revel in the fact that you might not need your lawnmower any longer - perhaps you have purchased a condo and strata will now take care of outside maintenance. Sell that lawnmower, tools and everything else that you used to need to keep the outside of your home looking perfectly groomed.
Essentially you are looking to sell, gift, or donate any items that occupy rooms that you do not have in your new space. If you no longer have an office, where will you put office supplies? Think about the space that you now have not the spaces that you had.
4. One isn't the loneliest number.
3 flippers? 5 saucepans? 6 cookie sheets? It's time for the clutter to take a hike. Beautiful dishes and serving platters might be better off finding a happy home at a home that entertains often. Really take the time to consider what you will truly need in your day to day life in your new space.
5. Only make 'Yes' or 'No' piles — no Maybe's.
Be objective and absolute in your resolve to downsize your belongings. Do I use this daily? KEEP. Weekly? KEEP Monthly, or occasionally? BYE-BYE! Black and white is the only way to think in this case. If you start to think maybe, you will end up with a pile of goods that you will never use, and will be occupying valuable space in your bright new home.
6. Don’t be afraid to sell things yourself.
From Poshmark to Craigslist, Ebay, Kijiji, as well as numerous Facebook groups to traditional yard sales and consignment shops, selling your valuables has never been easier. Be sure to weight out your time cost compared to how much money you are making by selling these items. Donations go along way with those that are in need!If you have a number of antiques or valuable items, it is a good idea to get in touch with a company that is familiar with auctioning these types of items. These pieces, after all, have been an investment over the years.
7. Enjoy the walk down memory lane!
You've held onto so much for so long. Every stuffed animal, elementary school drawing, and take me home from the hospital outfit holds so many memories. Enjoy the memories. This is why you held onto these items all of these years — to spark joy and memories of the best times in life!These items represent a life well-lived, and families well raised. You may no longer need to hold onto all of them, but take a moment, even take some pictures and take the time to remember great days your family spent together making these precious times.
The next step? Enjoy the knowledge that you are taking your next step with a clear mind and many less moving boxes than before you started the downsizing process!