Do you have an unnecessary attachment to your possessions? Does the thought of downsizing overwhelm you to the point of perpetual procrastination? Don’t worry. You just need a little bit of guidance! In this article, I’m going to share 5 simple steps to make the downsizing process less painful and time-consuming.
STEP 1: CREATE A PLAN
- Make a blueprint of your home and decide which rooms you’re going to tackle first. Then, for each room, divide your possessions into four categories :
- Items you’d definitely like to keep (e.g., useful or meaningful possessions)
- Items you’d “maybe” like to keep (you’ll need to revisit these later as you continue paring down)
- Items you’d like to sell, donate, or give away to a loved one
- Items you’d like to discard
- Use coloured tags or stickies to indicate which category your items belong to. (E.g. green = save, red = discard, yellow = maybe)
- Create a list of the organizations and people you’d like to give things away to. This is also a good time to look into junk removal and moving companies.
- Make an agenda. Print a calendar or timetable and post it in a highly-visible location (e.g., the fridge). Then, write your tasks on the timetable, ticking them off as you go to ensure you’re making good time.
STEP 2: GET RID OF UNNECESSARY JUNK
Now that you’ve created a plan and colour-coded all your discard items, the next step is to simply discard them. Here are some ways to go about this efficiently :
- Use removal companies
- Give away items as designated
- Donate items to charities (some charities will pick them up for you!)
- Sell your items online or organize a garage sale.
- If you’re not sure of the value, compare prices online to see the market rate or get a professional appraisal.
STEP 3: TACKLE EACH SPACE METHODICALLY
Here’s what I like to do:
- Have 3 garbage bags on you – one for selling, donating, and discarding.
- Stand by the door and face the 12 o’clock direction. From there, move around your room in a clockwise fashion while sorting.
- Follow the OHIO rule, “Only handle it once”. In other words, it’s decision-making time!
- Doesn’t fit? Gone.
- Haven’t worn it in 2 years? Gone.
- Don’t like it anymore but spent money on it? Gone.
- Can’t throw it out because someone gave it to me? Gone.
- Needs repairing? Then create a deadline and post it on the item. Still haven’t gotten around to it? Gone.
Remember, keep items that are useful, meaningful, and provide tangible value in your life. Work towards keeping 50% of your books, and just 20-50% of your clothing.
STEP 4: GET PACKING
Once you’ve discarded unneeded items and sorted all your rooms methodically, the packing process becomes infinitely easier because you know exactly what you’re working with. You can finally visualize how many boxes and containers you’ll need.
- Pack important items that you’ll need throughout the downsizing process (e.g., keys, medicine, new lease agreement, legal documents, etc.). Store them separately but ensure they can be conveniently accessed.
- Label every box and container, and ensure that fragile items are labelled extra clearly.
- It also helps to label the boxes according to the rooms. For example, “Kitchen – cutlery”, “Bathroom – hygiene products”.
- Mark boxes as “open me first” to ease the transition in the new place (e.g., bedding, toothbrushes, night clothes, etc.)
STEP: GET MOVING
Do you have a truck or van of your own? Friends that are willing to help? That’s great! Otherwise, now’s a great time to revisit that list of moving companies from step one. Choose carefully by reading reviews, and ensure that they’re insured!
Do you need help bringing order to your everyday life? You don’t have to go at it alone! Contact a professional organizer today!