• How to Downsize Like an Expert: 7 Amazing Tips to Get Started

    How to Downsize Like an Expert: 7 Amazing Tips to Get Started

Everyone could use a little tidying up, but if you are looking to downsize your home you will have to approach your efforts with intention. The key to downsizing is to get rid of the things you don’t need, don’t use, and don’t have space for if and when you move. This may seem a bit obvious, however deciding what you need and what you want is tricky. 

Fortunately for you, we have comprised a list of tips to help you tackle your mountain of stuff and fit your downsizing. 

How to Downsize Like an Expert…

1. Set Your Goals

Your downsizing success will rest largely on how well you have planned for it. Since you are here, you are already on the way to properly plan for your downsizing. Set a date to go through your belongings. Start with one room so you don’t get too bogged down.

Systematically go through each room and follow the tips we have outlined below. Repeat this process until you have gone through every room in your home.

2. Take an Inventory

Prior to getting rid of things, find out how much stuff you have before you downsize. Not only will this help with the next step, but it will give you a starting place for setting your downsizing goal. Do you want to reduce your stuff by 20% or by a single room? Figuring out how much you have when you start will help you figure out how much you need to reduce. 

Don’t feel overwhelmed if you have more than what you thought you did, most people do. That’s what makes this step so important. Not only to get you started with your organization but to keep you on task to rid yourself of things you don’t need. 

3. Create Categories for Your Belongings

Taking a page out of Maria Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” categories can be very helpful and keep you on track. Putting your belongings in categories will help you organize what you are going through and make the process less overwhelming. It will also help you identify duplicates of items.

Some basic categories would be: 

  • Furniture.
  • Clothes.
  • Recreation. 
  • Games. 
  • Appliances. 

One category you could create is your one-year category. If you haven’t used the item in over a year, you should let it go.

4. Determine Your Lifestyle

Usually, when people downsize it is because they are planning a move. If you are moving into a smaller home, it is important to focus on what your lifestyle in the new space will look like. 

Since you will only want to take what you will need, thinking about your lifestyle will help you determine this. Do you want to move into a smaller home, but plan on traveling and camping? Well, you’ll certainly want to hold onto your camping gear then. Plan on spending your summers at the beach? Hold onto your beach chairs.

Remember, if you plan on continuing a certain lifestyle, you will want to make sure you have room for the items you will need to enjoy it. 

5. Measure Your Large Items

This is especially important if you are moving into a smaller home, like an apartment in a senior living community. Since you will likely be more limited on space, you will want to make sure the large items you wish to take with you will fit in your new space.

6. Plan a Yard Sale

This one seems like a no-brainer as “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Items that always sell at yard sales are: 

  • Furniture
  • Baby clothes.
  • Maternity clothes.
  • Toys.
  • Board games.
  • Dish sets.
  • Jewelry.
  • Camping gear.
  • Fishing gear.
  • Arts and crafts materials.
  • Board games.
  • Video games. 

If you plan your sale well and focus on pricing for all your unnecessary stuff, you should be able to unburden yourself of many of these items. For the digitally savvy, there are online options for selling your items as well. Everyone knows about eBay, but did you know there are online market places that help you sell particular items. This is helpful since you already broke your belongings into categories. Here are some places you can sell your second-hand wares:

  • OfferUp specializes in furniture.
  • Poshmark is for clothing.
  • Discogs helps you sell records and stereo equipment. 

7. Find Local Places to Donate After Downsizing

Most people know about a few places to donate clothes or furniture, but did you know there are other options? 

For example, if you have luggage bags you don’t need, you can donate them to foster care so kids have something to keep their belongings in as they move from home to home. For a good list of places to donate in your area, follow this link and find these non-profit organizations near you.

We hope that you find these downsizing tips helpful. If you are having some trouble letting go of sentimental things, check out this article.

Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), is an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati and Westlake, OH. Best known for our Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, and our recent affiliation with Concord Reserve in Westlake, we have made aging well a top priority for nearly 120 years.

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