If you’re facing a move into a smaller house or apartment, you may wonder how to downsize your belongings. After all, you or your family have likely been collecting things — from knickknacks and hobby items to books and artwork — most of your adult life. When you’re standing in a full house, it’s difficult to know where to start.
That’s the primary reason to hire help. At Art of Downsizing, we specialize in just these sorts of problems. We’ll show you how to rightsize your belongings, no matter how drastic your move is. Rightsizing is an art and a science, and our “on-the-job training” may be just the ticket to get you on track to conscious, streamlined living.
The Big Question
You already know that you can’t take everything with you. The big question is how to decide what to keep and what to sell or give away. Making it more difficult is the challenge that nearly every object you own is laden with emotional memories:
“I bought this painting during our honeymoon.”
“This tea set has been in my family for three generations.”
“Let me tell you the story of this chaise lounge…”
Emotional attachment is one of the biggest reasons moving to a smaller place creates so much anxiety. But you can do this, as long as you’re willing to adopt an open mindset. So, before you begin, before you place a call to a local expert for help, consider the tips we’ve put together below.
How to Downsize Your Belongings
Warning! This process isn’t going to be easy. You will have to make some tough decisions. But remember the goal: to fit comfortably into your new living space and to bring with you your most important (and useful) possessions. Follow these suggestions:
Set aside special times. Downsizing to rightsize takes time, and you’ll want that time to evaluate your belongings. Put it on your calendar well in advance of your move. Spend some time every day, going through a room, closet or just a desk drawer. Allow for at least a week, working six hours a day just to sort and box.
Know how much space you’ll have. If you know where you’re moving, you’ll have an idea how much will fit in over there. That gives you your goal. It helps going into this process to visualize how to downsize your belongings to compliment your new living space. Take measurements and know the floor plan.
Consider everything. Go into this process with an open mind. Be willing to accept that no object is a permanent companion piece. Consider everything as potentially something to sell, donate or give away. There is only so much space in your house … and in your heart. Feel the lightness of letting go. Make room for tomorrow.
Agree not to get a storage unit. If you really want to learn how to downsize your belongings, don’t move the leftover lesser items from your home into a storage unit. That merely postpones the inevitable. Know and plan for the storage area limits in your new home.
Determine what’s still useful. When it comes to clothes, kitchen utensils and small appliances, consider this: If you haven’t worn it or used it more than once in the past year, you really don’t need it. Save the space for something you really do want to keep. That’s how to downsize your belongings.
Let go of the past. When you dig out those mementos from high school that you haven’t looked at in 20 years, it may bring back memories, but you’ve been fine without them, haven’t you? Look toward a future where you only have what you need. Take pictures of the items before you turn them loose, and you’ll get the same jolt of nostalgia looking through a digital photo album.
Sell the valuables. Some of your things — like art, jewelry, crystal or furniture — may have retained its value or even appreciated. If money is an issue, it’s time to sell these things to a buyer at an auction or estate sale, especially if you can live without them. Get an expert opinion before you sell or throw away stamps, old letters, cancelled stocks, bonds, deeds, hallmarked items or sports memorabilia.
Find your balance. You don’t have to get rid of everything. Keep what’s useful to you. Keep whatever brings you daily happiness or contentment. Surround yourself in your new place with meaningful mementos and possessions that add beauty to your life.
Get help. Art of Downsizing teaches you how to downsize your belongings. We even arrange auctions or estate sales for you, when appropriate. Call 828-772-5959 to get expert help and guidance as you prepare to move to a smaller place.