Updated: Oct 12, 2020
More and more Americans are considering “downsizing” by moving from their current home into a smaller space. Downsizing is often associated with a major life change like retirement, an empty nest or health needs. It can happen within your own home when a child or parent moves in. Regardless of the reason, the process of downsizing includes pairing down your possessions to fit into the new space. Doing this allows people to get more control over their environment whether they plan to stay in the home or move. This takes organization and a plan. We have some recommendations.
Do It Before You Have to
Whether you are thinking ahead, or simply find yourself inspired by the prospect of simpler life, be proactive about downsizing. Instead of dealing with the clutter when there has been a major life transition, get ahead of the game when you are in control of the process. Many of the reasons for downsizing occur on an expedited basis, so make that process less stressful by taking care of the clutter on a more thoughtful, less urgent schedule.
Think About the Next Generation
When reviewing your possessions, it is hard to let go of items that have some significance to you. However, younger generations are more likely to want to live a minimalist lifestyle. As a result, they won’t be interested in multiple sets of family china or the various mementos accumulated over the generations. Better to let them pick a few things that they want to hold on to and start thinking about gently disposing of anything that isn’t getting or going to be used.
Think in Terms of Categories
While there are dozens of approaches to decluttering and downsizing your possessions, it’s always important to have a plan. At Organizing Genies, we begin with major categories, because this helps to assess what should be kept, donated or dumped based on duplicates, damage and disuse. Clothing is a great place to start because outfits may no longer be needed due to a move to a warmer climate, retirement, or simply changing body shape over the years. Another category to tackle at one time is photographs. Before the cloud, photos accumulated as prints kept in boxes or SIM cards from old digital cameras. Gathering them all together and using a service to digitize and store a lifetime of memories can free up a lot of space. In the kitchen, tupperware, spices and that pot you used when you got your first apartment have accumulated over the years. It’s worth going through and doing a purge. Finally, paperwork has a way of piling up. Records of utility payments from the 90s don’t serve any purpose but taking up space and reviewing and disposing can free up a lot of space.
Try Tackling Room by Room
Every household has their own way of storing. It could be in the attic, the basement or in the garage. Many people also have a storage unit. Taking on one of these locations at a time, using the category approach, will make it easier to make progress. When it comes to downsizing, the new accommodations tend to have fewer rooms, so finding a way to address each space is an effective way to eliminate the need for that room in your downsized household.
At Organizing Genies, we work with our clients to make the downsizing process go smoothly. Contact us for a consultation.