Many people have joined the downsizing bandwagon because of different reasons. It could be that the current home they live in is too big or requires too much maintenance. Other people just simply want to move to a new neighborhood. Whatever the reason may be, downsizing is an involving activity.
As time passes by, you realize that you have accumulated a lot of stuff. Most of the times, your drawers are full of stuff or gifts you never have and probably never will use. The excuse is always “saving for a rainy day” which never seems to come. Fall is the time to get rid of excess baggage and keep the essentials.
Steps for Effective Downsizing During Fall
Assess Your Actual Needs
What do you need? Really? If your treadmill or bow flex has been collecting dust for some time and you have not yet taken up exercising, consider substituting with a pair of running shoes which are more useful and take up less space. Assessing your actual needs will require you to take a pretty good look at how you live your life. It will help you prioritize the activities and items which are part of your current lifestyle and those which are not. How do you do this?
- Walk through your house or apartment and evaluate what you come across on the basis of use in the past year. Honestly decide if you can live well without it and if you can, make not of it.
- Realize that most of the stuff people keep without using is a tribute to unmet goals. For example, keeping exercise machines which you never use even you promise yourself you will. There are so many such items including books, tables etc. all of which we want to keep “just in case”. Unfortunately, they continue to gather dust for many more years. Such items need to go and make space for things you’ll actually use.
- If you are having a hard time letting go of some stuff, put them in storage and get rid of them in 6 months if you end up not using them.
Declutter Your Home
It is very likely that your new home will not have enough space to fit all your stuff. As a result, a declutter session becomes quite essential. Go through cabinets, shelves and closets that need to be cleared. What does decluttering involve?
- Working out what furniture you need. It is will be necessary to measure your furniture since your new home is going to be smaller.
- Decluttering requires ruthlessness and realism. This will keep you from transferring boxes to your new house that will never open. However, don’t go overboard and do away with items you might need down the line.
- Decide on how you will get rid of the items that you don’t need. You can choose to sell some stuff and donate others.
Put the things that you will not need in boxes or crates in a garage or any other storage area
Assess Your New Storage Areas
Sometimes you find yourself moving to a new place and realize that you overestimated the amount of storage space. You only find out when it is too late and you have to squeeze all your stuff into a small storage space. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the new storage spaces beforehand to give you an idea of the volume of items you will need. You will discover how many closets and cabinets you will have and minimize your times to fit into those places. There is nothing disappointing as moving with stuff that you have no place to keep.
Don’t Forget the Old Storage Areas
Attics, basements, and closets tend to hold on to so much of your items that you had put away and you need to get rid of. Some boxes have been in your basement for years and you have to let them go. From bathroom cabinets to junk drawers. Go through all these without leaving anything out.
Hold a Sale
A yard sale is quite useful for selling a large number of items. You don’t have to do it by yourself. Services like google liquidation estate content sales can take care of the sale on your behalf. You can also sell your best stuff on sites such as eBay or craigslist to get a little bit more money. Through these sites, you can sell anything including furniture, appliances and home décor items.
Organizing yourself will go a long way to make the downsizing process much easier. Work out storage solutions for your stored items. Label all your boxes with colored tags based on what you’ve packed in them.
Your stuff should be labeled under five categories:
- Yellow to pick out the most used items and those to keep
- Pink for boxes to give away to family and friends
- Blue for donations
- Green for those items to be sold
- Red for items that need to be tossed such as chipped, broken and stained items, junk mail, magazines etc.
Digitize Whatever You Can
We all have a stack of CDs, DVDs, cassettes, videos, pictures and documents that we would like to carry along to our new homes. However, these items can get piled up and become too many to move with. Fortunately, all these items can be digitized and saved to the cloud or a computer hard drive. As such, you will save on a lot of space.
Scan your important personal documents like birth certificates and social security cards and save them. Moreover, you can transfer your DVDs and CDs to digital files. Go paperless and get rid of all the paper, discs and videos. There are so many available digital programs for both document and DVD storage. For documents, use DropBox or Google Drive.
Set Accumulation Limits
Even after you declutter and you’re settled into a new place, you need to keep your accumulation of stuff under wraps. If you intend to purchase more clothing or shoes, give some away to create space for the incoming stuff. It should be a trade-off. When it comes to mail, read and recycle. Don’t accumulate mail on your counters.
Always Remember the One-Year Golden Rule
While downsizing, everything should come down to one golden rule: “if it has not been used in the past one year, it needs to go.” If you have not worn some clothes in a year, chances are you may never wear them. The same applies to furniture and any other item in your home. One year is a pretty good standard to determine if something is useful to you or not.
Downsizing is not simple. The emotion and physical energy involved can overcome you if you don’t ask for help or approach the process with a positive and open mind.
Need Help Moving During Downsizing?
Alpha Moving and Storage is here to help you deal with some of that baggage and reduce your downsizing stress. Visit our website www.alphamoving.com today to enjoy our wonderful services. We will you’re your downsizing experience a memorable one. Downsizing does not have to weigh you down. Let us help you.