You never realize how much stuff you have accumulated until you have to move. Whether you’re getting ready to move, or just moved, all that stuff has to be put away… eventually. The key to downsizing is to get rid of the stuff you don’t need without getting rid of the stuff you do need. Sounds simple, right? Here are 8 tips to help declutter and downsize your home:
- Downsize furniture. Besides the burden of moving big furniture, they take up lots of space. Look at the floor plan of your new space, or measure to get a feel. This will help you determine if you need to get rid of a piece of furniture, or restage a room with the furniture you have. You will know what to expect before you arrive, and won’t have to pay to haul or store the extra furniture.
- Take the small stuff. It’s a great idea to go through your stuff and get rid of the junk, but don’t get rid of the items you regularly use. Make some piles: keep, maybe, toss. After you move, go back through the piles and adjust accordingly. Then, donate the toss pile.
- Go through every box. Whether it’s a cherished memory from your childhood, or clothing, go through every box. After you move, double check all of your boxes before you put stuff in the attic/storage.
- Plan storage before downsizing. Before you start giving stuff away because you don’t have the room, plan out your storage. Figure out your organizational system and start putting your stuff away. Whether it’s a closet, garage, desk, determine how you’re going to make the space work.
- Follow the one year rule. If you haven’t used something in a year, toss or donate it. Be realistic and make sure the items you’re saving will serve a purpose.
- It’s not all stuff. Save your memories and the things you would want to share with your children and grandchildren someday.
- Re-home special items. Special items that hold value and memories aren’t something you just toss, but if you don’t have a use for them anymore, they are taking up space. You can re-home special items to a family member or friend.
- Digitize. Photos, videos, important documents — store on a hard drive or your computer.
Focus on organizing throughout the downsizing process and your space will be clutter free.