You’ve done it. You’ve made the commitment to downsizing. That was hard enough to do but what comes next can be downright daunting. You have to actually do the downsizing.
While this part can become overwhelming quickly and get the best of you, there are strategies that can help you overcome downsizing dilemmas and achieve your goal of living a less cluttered and happier life.
Dilemma 1: There’s Just So Much Stuff!
There you stand in your garage, attic or in front of the door of that closet so overstuffed you’re scared to open it and you just feel lost.
This is where you begin to feel overwhelmed, but now is definitely not the time to give up. Just take a breath and apply this tip.
Start small. Choose one closet or one drawer. Sort, clean and immediately remove unwanted items from your home.
Do one smaller space, such as a drawer, each day and one bigger space, such as a closet, each weekend. When you’re consistent with this, you’ll make great progress.
The key here is to continuously remove the items you don’t want or you will build up scattered piles of junk around your home, and we certainly don’t want that.
Make a habit of bringing a bag of removable items with you every time you leave the house. You can bring those books you wish to donate to your local library with you when you have to return borrowed books or are going to be in the area of your library. You can bring clothing to local drop-offs for shelters, thrift stores or VA organizations when you know you have the time to make the extra trip.
When you repeat these actions regularly you’ll form great habits for yourself. This will not only help with your project of decluttering your home but will make keeping your home clutter-free second nature for you. That’s called a win-win!
Dilemma 2: But This Means So Much To Me!
You love it, but you don’t use it. But you love it. But you don’t use it.
This vicious circle can drag you down. You own something that is either truly sentimental or maybe reminds you of a special time in your life or that special someone who isn’t here anymore, but you don’t use it.
Really, it just sits there, taking up space and it’s such a wonderful thing that someone could put to good use. The hard part is deciding who that someone could be and if it’s expensive, whether to sell it or gift it away.
Try this as a solution: Give the things you care about the most to the people you care about the most. When they use them (and they will) they’ll always think of you. It’s part of how you carry on traditions or even create your own legacy.
Let’s say though that the item is very expensive and not that sentimental. You also don’t want it to go to just one person. You have a few people in mind for this item or even items. What do you do?
Sell it and split the profits how you see fit among the people you wish to give it to. Depending on how much money is involved, you may need to get a lawyer or accountant or Realtor involved to help you handle the sale and the best way to divide the monies you gain from the sale.
Dilemma 3: Hey, I need that…I think…or do I?
Oh boy, this one takes forethought and a bit of common sense to conquer.
That shirt you know you’re going to fit in again. Those bright colored pants that will come back into style, someday. The roadmaps of all the states that will come in handy when you finally take that cross country RV trip. Those five toasters sitting in your garage…because, well, you know, toast.
Look, we’re all guilty of it. We keep thing we don’t really need in the hopes that we’ll get good use out of them one day. This makes us feel like we’re prepared for that someday.
The truth is, they’re just taking up space. That shirt you want so desperately to fit in someday would be put to better use in a thrift store whose proceeds goes to help the homeless get back to work. Those bright colored pants were never really in style. Sorry, about that one, but it’s nearly always 100% true. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and message us a photo to prove us wrong. We’d love to see them.
There’s a Netflix show that’s brimming with popularity right now called, ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. Mari Kondo, an organizer from Japan, goes to different homes to help people organize and declutter their lives. She speaks of holding an item to see if it ‘sparks joy’ in your life. Any item that sparks joy you keep. Any item that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ goes into one of two piles, trash or donate.
It’s a very simple method, but oh so effective. Another great tip; watch an episode or two of the show before you begin your downsizing. It’s amazing and if you like her bright, pleasant personality, like the tens of millions of her devotees, you too will be going around your home seeing what ‘sparks joy’ and what doesn’t as soon as you finish watching.
The Other Side of Downsizing
Remember, the reason you’re downsizing is more important than the reason you’re keeping these items in the first place. Maybe it’s creating space in your home. Maybe you’re moving to a smaller home. Maybe you’ve bought that RV and you are going to travel the continental US on that trip you’ve always said you’d make.
Whatever the reason, the other side of downsizing is a side that is less cluttered, more organized and cleaner looking home than what you’re staring with right now. Take it easy, go step by step and apply these tips to overcome any downsizing dilemmas that may cross your path along the way.