Organizing Tip: Downsizing a Home

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Are you recently retired and thinking about downsizing?How to Downsize a Home

Maybe you’re just wondering where you should start when it comes to “shrinking” your belongings?

In this post, I offer a few tips to help you downsize the contents of your home.

Be strategic in your downsizing efforts.

Let’s say you are moving from a four bedroom house with a garage, attic and basement into a two bedroom apartment.

Obviously you’ll need to do a lot of downsizing in general, but you should first set your sights on addressing the contents of rooms you’ll no longer have in your living space.

In the example above, you’d no longer have a garage, attic, basement and two spare bedrooms.

By starting with these rooms first, you’ll immediately take a huge step in shrinking the amount of your belongings.

Physically speaking, it takes a longer time to process and sort through items in these spaces, so it makes sense to start with these rooms first.

Shrink your belongings bit by bit.

Feeling overwhelmed about organizing, sorting and processing a lifetime of belongings and memories? Consider setting a number guideline or baseline as you work.

For example, if you are paring down your book collection, you could trim back the collection by an eighth or quarter on your first organizing round, take a week or so off, then trim the remaining collection by another eighth or quarter.

You’ll reduce your collection bit by bit on a consistent basis without having to process everything at once.

Set up a removal station.

Make the downsizing process easier for yourself by setting up a temporary removal station in your hallway, mudroom or other area of the house.

The idea is to have a specific place to collect items to be discarded, donated or recycled. The last thing you want to is to have items you’ve already processed work their way back into your home!

You could set up a set of boxes, containers, or bags to temporarily house items. Check the removal station on a regular basis; you might time to pack things up in time for weekly trash pickup and recycling, or drop off items at a donation center as you are running errands.

Now to you…what are you most concerned about when it comes to downsizing? What to start with first, or how long the process will take? Join in 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.