Thinking about downsizing your home? Whether it’s because your family is changing, you want a simpler lifestyle, or you simply don’t need all of the space you used to, many homeowners face the prospect of downsizing at least once in their lives. But just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. Downsizing means not only purging years’ worth of clutter, but often family mementos, kids toys, or hobby gear that was once loved but no longer fits with your lifestyle. Here are a few strategies that will help make downsizing less emotional.
Change your outlook.
It can be surprising how emotional it can be to face the idea of getting rid of things you’ve had for decades, even if you don’t need or use them (or have even seen them in ten years). The thing is, purging items you no longer need it also one of the most refreshing and rewards parts of downsizing, too. It’s the very thing that will allow you to move forward into a space that better suits your lifestyle. Anytime you start to feel sad about parting with your high school soccer cleats, think of that.
Another thing that will help you overcome the emotions tied to clearing clutter is to make sure your excess stuff benefits a good cause. Whether you donate old furniture and clothing to the Salvation Army or the Goodwill, or drop off your gently used children’s toys to places like hospitals or shelters (or 8 of these other great ideas for where to donate kids toys), you’ll feel instantly better knowing that the things you no longer use are helping someone in need.
Rent a Storage Unit
If you run into items you won’t have space for in your new home but can’t bear to part with, don’t force yourself to throw them away. Instead, put them in storage for a while. It will give you time to decide whether or not your truly need to keep something while you aren’t being faced with the other major life changes that go into a downsize. Maybe in a few months you’ll realize that you could never part with the outfits your children wore home from the hospital, but that you really don’t need to keep all of their first bicycles stashed away.
Good luck with your move!