If you are currently seizing 2017 by the horns and downsizing your stuff to move into a new space, we’ve got some sanity-saving tips for you.
Why Downsize? Focus on the Big Picture
Trendsetters are snatching up capsule wardrobes, rebelling against stuffing their households with stuff, and making more with the minimal in 2017. If you’re seeking to jump into this scene then first take a small step back and ask what your end game is. Do you want to downsize to further your schooling or travel more? Are you seeking a simpler, more efficient lifestyle? Get your goal in mind and then write down what bare necessities you’ll need to live that life. For example, you’ve lived in a house your entire life, but with retirement looming ahead you don’t want to deal with a full house anymore. Travel is on your radar. You’ll need a space large enough to accommodate occasional out-of-towners, and ample seating for gatherings. Or, you’re ready for a professional change, which means full-time student status is in your future. You’ll need a smaller space that’s easy to care for, and your only big necessity is a separate study area. Throughout your downsizing process you’ll want to circle back to this goal when questioning what to purge.
Where to Start the Downsizing Process
Begin the purging process by listing out what items you’ll need to achieve your end goal. Start with the basics: bedroom, home office, kitchen, living room. Consider what is necessary enough in your life to move with you—the cost of moving it versus your ability to move it on your own.
Next, you should move on to any items you haven’t used in a year or more. This can be extra furniture, hobby accessories, or clothing. If the item doesn’t fit into your goal, then it should go. Exceptions to this rule are nice suits or dresses that still fit and are in current fashion; you should have one serviceable business formal item at your disposal.
Now turn to any bulky items you have cluttering your space. Sentimental items often weigh you down. In order to rid you of unnecessary antiques, souvenirs, or other nostalgia, take a moment to examine the item and appreciate the memories surrounding it. Then consider how to appropriately dispose of or donate the item. Family photo albums can be scanned and backed up via a web service such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. You can donate family heirlooms to a local museum or find a reputable antiques dealer to sell the item for you on commission.
Once you’ve nailed down the bigger items, it’s time to sweat the small stuff. First, dump any duplicates you have. Here are some common multiples you may have and how to cut their numbers:
- You don’t need more than two nice sheet sets per bed. Stowing away an extra blanket or two is still a good idea, but more than that is just clutter.
- Having multiple dish sets is just an unopened moving box waiting to happen.
- Unless you throw extravagant wine tastings in your house, 6 glasses should be sufficient.
- You need 2 bath towels per person in your household. Bonus: Cutting the amount down to this will force you to stay on top of your weekly laundry.
Following the tips above should get you well on your way to rein in the clutter. If you end up with some odds and ends you just can’t decide on, designate a “TBD” storage bin. Examine the contents of the bin after a year; anything you haven’t needed or thought about in that time can definitely go.
Do you have any tricks for downsizing that worked for you? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!