4 Tips to Keep in Mind When Downsizing

posted in: Organizing 4

Image of potted plants on a window ledge and the phrase, 4 Tips to Keep in Mind When Downsizing Are you downsizing, or thinking about downsizing items in your home?

Do you want the process to be as seamless as possible?

In this post, I offer four tips to help your eyes on the prize when it comes to reducing the amount of stuff in your home.

Be clear about why you are downsizing.

Are you moving to a smaller house or apartment?

Or taking a trip around the world and need to put your belongings in storage?

Maybe you’re just tired of dealing with piles of stuff at home.

It’s important to define exactly why you are downsizing your belongings, as this will help keep you motivated.

What goal do you want to reach it comes to letting go of some of your stuff?

What dreams do you have for your future?

What will having less stuff allow you to be/do/see/accomplish?

Be honest with yourself and you’ll find the answers you seek.

Say “yes” to what you’ll keep.

Many people think downsizing is simply throwing out gobs and gobs of stuff, sight unseen. Actually, this isn’t the best approach, as you may accidentally throw away, or dispose of something you truly need.

Another way to downsize is to approach it from a reverse angle. Instead of opening up your closet, and simply tossing away clothes, go through and pick out the items you use on a regular basis. This clearly separates what you actually need in your life, versus what you don’t, and makes it easier to dispense with the rest.

In this example, you might pull out seven dress shirts, four pairs of dress slacks, three skirts, two sweaters, two good suits, and a light coat, to serve as the foundation of your work wardrobe.

Set up downsizing areas.

You may find it helpful to set up a downsizing staging area in an infrequent area of your home, such as a guest bedroom, or corner of a room.

You can either store: 1) what you’re going to keep (this may be helpful if you’re moving to a new location, or moving house), or 2) what you are going to remove from your home (be it trash, recycling, donations, etc.).

Be sure to clearly label boxes, bags, and containers, so you know what is what.

Take your time.

Downsizing a lifetime’s, or even several years’ worth of stuff isn’t going to happen overnight. Depending on how much stuff you own, this may take weeks, possibly even months!

Take your time as you go through your belongings. You may find it helpful to set aside blocks of time to do your downsizing, say, in increments of 30 minutes, so you don’t become overwhelmed.

You may find also it helpful to set a firm deadline to help you stay on track. For example, you could set a deadline of, “I will go through and downsize items in my bedroom by the 30th.”

How about you? Have you ever attempted to downsize your belongings? What was the experience like? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

4 Responses

  1. L. Nicole

    Packing tip: Packing bowls for moving should be done the same way as it should for plates: simply wrap one bowl first and then add a second or third bowl on top and secure with more packing material and tape. Keep in mind that proper packing is essential for successful move.

    • Rashelle

      A good tip!

  2. Arunava Sadhukhan

    I downsize frequently, As im a college student & useless paperworks nd sheets aquire frequently. Its very imp to downsize on a regular basis, especially if you are in academic fields. But what i can’t figure out; most often is that, how to organize those papers and sheets according to their category, So i can efficiently find them later when i need them