Making downsizing easier

I got an email from someone going a little crazy trying to downsize from a home to an apartment.

“Help”, she said.

Downsizing can be an overwhelming project.

The first thing to do it release the past. Whether the downsize is your choice or not, it’s important to process and let go of the past. And ideas of how you thought things were going to be. Journal, cry, grieve.

Now look to the benefits of downsizing and how this could be a great thing.

– less stuff to take care of
– more time
– less maintenance
– more money
– more freedom

Next, look at your new place. Plan out what you want in what area. Papers/work, relaxing, food prep, music. You clear out stuff that isn’t useful.

See your home as flowing. What impedes the flow of your home? You want to be able to make your daily routine easy without getting annoyed at things in the way.

Places that are important to let go:
– decorative collections. Keep a few, photograph the rest and let go
– clothes – it’s clutter if it doesn’t fit in the closet. So only keep the amount of clothes that fit nicely in the closet (and pack up the out of season clothes to go under the bed)
– books – you can get most books from the library. If you are in an apartment you are going to want to limit books to one bookshelf.
– shoes – only keep the ones you need and use. Special occasion, once in awhile shoes are not used enough for the space they occupy.
– dishes – only keep what you can store in your cabinets, same with kitchen gadgets

You are editing your space so it works well for you and nurtures you.

Tackle small areas at a time and stay in that area until complete. One drawer. One cabinet. One pile.

Questions to ask as you let go.
– have you used it in the past year?
– what are your current needs?
– what do you no longer need at your new place? Like gardening tools or snow shovel.
– is this about my present life or about my past? Limit the past so you have room for your present.

If you have trouble letting go, invite a friend or family member to help. Often we’ll get attached to something and someone else can say, “Why do you want to keep that?” When you try to explain, you realize you don’t need or even want to keep it. You can also email a friend with your progress every day to keep you accountable and motivated.

Wishing you well on your new life and home.


Want some help decluttering? Join the Declutter Group.