Downsizing your home can be beneficial no matter what stage of life you are in. Having all that extra stuff can feel cumbersome and overwhelming. In our latest post, we discuss easy ways to downsize your house without all the stress.
With each year that passes, it seems that most of us acquire more and more “things”. Many of us have closets filled with items we aren’t using, and things are stored away in the attic that never see the light of day. Many people buy a home when they are first starting their family, with the intention of having enough space for everyone as their family grows. But as the years pass and the kids eventually grow up and move out on their own, many people find they are living in a house that is much too large and filled with too much stuff to manage. Below we offer some great tips for downsizing, making it easier to sell when the time comes.
Tip #1 – The One Year Rule
You might have heard this rule for your closets. Turn all the hangers backward, and anything still backward in a year should be given 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, try to keep these to a minimum and get rid of whatever you’re not wearing any longer.
You can also apply this rule to other clutter-prone areas of your house. Think of kitchen gadgets, craft supplies, old DVD’s and electronics, etc. If you haven’t used it in the past year or so, the odds are pretty low that you’ll use it again in the future, so sell it or donate it!
Tip #2 – Re-purpose And Give Away
You likely have many items you are keeping due to sentimental value. While it certainly fine to hang on to some of it, having too much can weigh you down and prevent you from moving forward. Maybe your kids or grand kids would love to have your old Christmas ornaments that are filling your closet. Things such as old toys, clothes, and artwork can find new homes with people who will love them. This way you can find joy in knowing they are being used and loved, without taking up storage space in your house. Don’t be afraid to purge!
Tip #3 – Look Through ALL The Boxes
Sure, this might seem like a daunting task and a lot of work, but for many people they will find that all kinds of random possessions they forgot they even had! They will only end up keeping one or two things, while giving away or throwing away the rest. You might be surprised at how much has piled up over the years!
Tip #4 – Assess Your Furniture
Do you really need the 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. In the past large wooden furniture was commonplace and often took up a lot of space in homes. Most new home buyers don’t want this kind of bulky, heavy furniture, so if you can get rid of it – do it! Sell these items if you can and use the cash towards moving expenses or something else more prudent.
Some local charities will actually come pick up furniture and household items and haul them away for you. Habitat ReStore is one of them. Wayside Christian Mission accepts furniture donations, but you have to drop it off there.
Tip #5 – Digitize Where It Makes Sense
Piles of papers are stacked 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 recycle anything that is no longer needed. You can scan in old bills and receipts if needed, and opt to go paperless for future statements. Shred any personal documents that may contain sensitive information before disposing of them. Make a rule to deal with mail as it comes in instead of letting it pile up everywhere.
Tip #6 – Get Rid Of Duplicates
Do you really need four 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 two of something, but never use both at the same time. Take an inventory and keep your favorite items, giving away or selling the others.
Tip #7 – Organize Everything
Before moving, take the time to organize all of your belongings. Group books, glassware, clothing, and other items. This will make packing and moving simple when you decide to go. Label all boxes and only pack similar items together. When you move into your new place, everything will already be neat and organized for you!
Tip #8 – Hire A Pro
Yes, there is such a thing as 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.