Downsizing your home can be beneficial no matter what stage of life you are in. Keeping all that extra stuff that you’ve acquired over the years can be cumbersome and overwhelming. In our latest post, we discuss easy ways to downsize your house without all the stress.
Every year seems to mean more and more stuff that ends up in the house. There are closets filled with items we aren’t using, and things stored away in the attic or cellar that never see the light of day. Many people buy a home when they are first starting their family, ensuring they have enough space for everyone. But as the years pass and the kids eventually move out on their own, they find they are living in a house that is too large and filled with too much stuff to manage. Below we offer some great tips for downsizing, making it easier to sell when you are ready.
Tip #1 – The One Year Rule
This is a general rule of thumb for your closets. Turn all the hangers backward, and anything still backward in a year….. give it away. These are the items you don’t wear, but that are taking up valuable space in your closet. While you might have one or two sentimental items that have memories attached to them, try to keep these to a minimum as you will not be wearing them.
Then apply this rule to other clutter-prone areas of your house. Think kitchen gadgets, craft supplies, old DVD’s, and so on. If you haven’t used it in the past year, the odds are pretty slim that it will get any use in the future.
Tip #2 – Repurpose And Give
You likely have many things you are keeping due to sentimental value. While it is more than ok to hang on to some of this stuff, having too much can weigh you down and take up space that you don’t want. Maybe your kids or grandkids would love to have your old Chrismas ornaments that are lying around in the closet. Things such as old toys, clothes, and artworks can find new homes with people you love. This way you can find joy in knowing they are being used and loved, without taking up storage space in your house. Should there be items that no one wants, have a garage sale, or make a donation to a charity.
Tip #3 – Look Through All The Boxes
Sure, this might seel like a lot of work. But for many people, they will find that all kinds of random possessions have accumulated. It’s so easy just to throw something into a box when you feel it’s not being used, but after a while, all this stuff adds up! They will only end up keeping one or two things, giving away or throwing away the rest. You might be surprised at what has piled up over the years!
Tip #4 – Assess Your Furniture
Do you really need that massive sectional sofa anymore? Is the giant coffee table still a necessity? Think about your future new space, and what kind of items will fit nicely. You can ditch the entertainment center, and instead, hang the TV up on a wall. You can opt for a smaller couch, dining table, etc. You can sell these items, and use the cash toward new furniture for your new space.
Tip #5 – Digitize Where It Makes Sense
Piles of papers all over the house. Does this sound familiar? It seems we all have a stack of papers (or 5) that we are going to get around to dealing with. Make that time now and toss or shred anything that is no longer needed. You can scan in old bills and receipts if needed, and opt to go paperless for future statements. Generally statements are available online for a few years. Make a rule to deal with mail as it comes in instead of letting it pile up everywhere.
Tip #6 – Get Rid Of The Dupes
Do you need 4 sets of wine glasses or will one set do? Do you need two desks in the office or can you share one? There are many instances where people buy 2 of something, never using both at the same time. Take an inventory and keep your favorite items, giving away or selling the other items.
Tip #7 – Organize Everything
Before you move, take the time to organize all of your belongings so that packing them is facilitated. Group books, glassware, clothing, and other items together in a way that makes sense. This will make packing and moving simple when you decide to go. Label all boxes and only pack similar items together.
Tip #8 – Hire A Pro
Yes, there is such a thing. You can hire a professional organizer to help you clear out the clutter. They can offer objective opinions if you are debating holding on to an unused item. They will help you get your belongings in order, making an eventual move a breeze.