There are many things that might inspire you to downsize your home, such as a big move or annual spring cleaning. However, there’s also the possibility that you’re not sure why; you just know that the clutter in your life is becoming too much for you and something has to change. Regardless of your reasons, we will review a few tips to help with the downsizing process.
1. Survey the land.
The first step is to get a clear sense of what you have and how you’ll store the things you keep. Doing so helps guide the process, uncover your why, and determine your timeline.
If you need to immediately move into a smaller space and have limited time to go through your items, you may want to consider getting portable storage containers to house your most important keepsakes and items safely. A portable storage container might even be a more permanent option if you are downsizing with the plan to live more transiently. This allows you to have a home base to keep your most prized items in as you move from place to place.
If you have more time to plan, your downsize, getting a clear sense of what you have and how much space you’ll be moving into can determine what types of items need to be prioritized for storage and what items you’ll be letting go of in the near future.
2. Figure out your why.
Now is the time to figure out why you’re doing this. One of the most important things that we can learn about ourselves is our personal core values; knowing our values can aid with difficult and significant decisions.
You may be approaching a downsize in an effort to change your carbon footprint and live more sustainably, you may be exploring the value of minimalism in your own life, or you may be in a position where this downsize is not your choice, and you are managing the grief and frustration of having to make this huge life change.
Determining the reason for this change, the potential benefits it offers you, and anticipating the moments of decluttering and downsizing that will be the hardest for you will help you prepare for this process.
3. Create and follow a system for decluttering.
There are a lot of variabilities here based on your timeline and your reason for downsizing. The ideal protocol is to tackle one room at a time since trying to do your whole home at once will be overwhelming and impossible.
If this is a particularly hard task for you, you can utilize a workbook that offers specific strategies or even hire a decluttering service to have someone come into the home and help you go through items in each of your rooms to determine what stays and what goes.
You will also need to create different options for each of your current items: keep for regular use, keep in storage for infrequent use or keepsake value, donate, sell, throw away, etc. Tailor these groupings to your own life and figure out what helps you determine whether to keep or part with items (i.e., functional purpose, items that don’t make you happy, and so forth).
4. Create plans to stay organized.
Downsizing is really a complete transformation; not only are you changing how much space you have and how many things exist in your space, but you will also need to transform your shopping habits and maintain any storage or organization systems you put into play.
One area of the home that tends to accumulate “stuff” quickly is the closet, so finding multifunctional bags or quality clothing items will help keep your closet organized and reduce the number of products you find yourself needing to purchase. Finding items for the kitchen and other living spaces that are multifunctional will continue to aid in having a home that has everything you need without feeling cramped.
Downsizing is not a quick process, but it’s worth the time. If you follow the tips above, you can create a more meaningful space as you downsize and declutter your home.