Bigger isn’t always better. Many times, less is more. Think of the popularity of downsizing and the small home trend. There are many reasons why people downsize. Our clients most often downsize to save money or get rid of excess space. Depending on your goals, downsizing your home could be a good move at any age. You might find that a smaller house is more practical once you are an empty-nester or a millennial looking to travel or retire earlier.
A professional organizer Myrtle Beach SC created this guide because there are many reasons to downsize. We have compiled over 10 tips for downsizing your house, as well as tips specifically designed for seniors who want to keep their clutter-free life after the move.
Downsizing and Decluttering Tips
You can start as soon as possible and pace yourself
To give yourself enough time to sort through your home without feeling overwhelmed, you should begin the process of downsizing as soon as possible. The rule of thumb is to begin downsizing at least three months before you plan on moving. However, it’s best to do this sooner than later.
You can get a head start on downsizing and declutter by removing unnecessary items from your home. There have been many popular organization methods in recent years like the KonMari method. No matter which method you use, the goal is to create a balance in your life and have possessions you need. These are some of the most popular methods:
One-A-Day Method – Let go of one item each day or the number that corresponds to the date (i.e. Giving away 12 items on the 12th day of a given calendar month.
KonMari Method: Sort through clutter according to category (clothes/paper/books, miscellaneous, sentimental, etc.). It’s time for you to get rid of items that no longer spark joy.
Four-Box Method: Limit your choices for what to do about a specific item by giving only four options. These options include sell, donate, trash/recycle, and keep. Avoid storing items.
Closet-Hanger: Turn all closet hooks toward you. Turn the hanger hook towards you once you have worn an item. Donate any clothes left facing away after 6 months.
Concentrate on one room at a time
It can seem daunting to think about organizing Brunswick NC and decluttering your entire home. Take it one step at time. If you break down the task into smaller, manageable pieces, it will be easier to finish the entire process. To ensure you don’t get overwhelmed, create a schedule or plan that is broken down by each room. You could take on one task at a given time.
- Check out DVDs and Video Games
- The dreaded junk drawer is addressed
- Choose shoes to give away or to keep
- Reduce the amount of clothing in your closet
- Tackle your dresser drawers
- Organize small kitchen items
- Use the lids to match pots, pans, and containers
Take measurements of your new space
To properly downsize, it is important to measure the space that you are trying to use. You should know the dimensions and shapes of each room. This will allow you to determine which large furniture pieces should be thrown out before you move. You don’t need to know the exact dimensions of your new home or have yet chosen a location, so you can focus on decluttering. You can start to look at those items you’ve been putting off.
Your current furniture may not be suitable for your space. Instead of trying to squeeze large furniture into small spaces, look at what you have and use the opportunity for a redesign.
Take a look at your new lifestyle
You should consider more than just the inch-by-inch dimensions. Consider what benefits you hope to get from downsizing. It is important to consider not only what will fit, but also what items will work in your new space. You have the opportunity to remodel and reset your home by downsizing. Take advantage of it!
Knowing your core motivation and goals will help you stick with your plan and get you excited about the journey. You don’t have to answer the obvious questions about space and money. Ask yourself “Why?” Do you want to travel more, or send your grandchildren off to college? Perhaps you are looking for a smaller home that you can enjoy more time with your spouse or learn a new hobby. Your goals will be more motivating if you are more specific. Here are some questions you might ask:
- Which are your top reasons to downsize?
- What are the opportunities that downsizing will create?
- What are you most missing about your old home and why?
- Do you have any hobbies or interests that you would like to try?
- What do you find most exciting about this downsizing?
- What is your biggest fear during this process? Is there anything you can do to help?
- What’s the first thing that you do once you have settled in your new home?
You’ll be able to see what items you need in your new home and lifestyle if you set your goals and intentions ahead of time.
Set Clear Decluttering Ground Rules
It’s easy to find exceptions when you begin decluttering and going through your items. You might find yourself merely moving items around from one place to another without ever realizing where they belong.
This can be avoided by adhering to strong ground rules and having options for sorting your items. One common set of options might be:
- Donate or Sell
- Recycle or toss
It can be passed down or memorialized (through a photograph).
You can have different categories depending on your goals and needs, but it is best to avoid any categories that are in the middle, as they can quickly add up.
You can declutter for organization or to make a move. Take before and after photos to help you remember and encourage you to continue your good habits once you are done.
Offer Sentimental Items for Sale
You will likely find sentimental items that don’t work in your new space. If you have sentimental furniture or decor pieces that you would like to keep, reach out to family and friends. It’s best to schedule pick-ups at least one week in advance, depending on how frequently you use the item in current spaces.
You can sell items you don’t need or that your children are too young to buy right now and put the money in savings. You can pass that gift on to your family members and purchase the item they need.
If you are certain you will miss an item but don’t know where it is, take a picture of it and add the relevant information (where it came form, what it represents). You can create your own “treasure photobook” or make an album from the photos. You can also memorialize memories and items in the following ways:
- Photograph sweet notes and cards
- Upload and scan paper mementos such as tickets or playbills
- Take a photo or scan the artwork of your child
There are many ways to organize your memories. There are many ways to organize your memories. You can create photo books that are chronological, categorical, or any other type of book. It is up to you what makes sense.
Donate or sell nonsentimental items
You can sell non-sentimental items that you don’t intend to bring into your new space. This will help pay for moving expenses and new decor. You can sell online using many online platforms like eBay, Craigslist and OfferUp. Use these apps to buy or sell items. Safety guidelines can be found on the website or app of each organization.
Consider donating items to good causes if you find that there is no interest in some of your items as you move closer. There are many charities and nonprofits that will accept clothing and household items.
- Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Arc
- Furniture Bank
Consider bringing items that are of high value with you to your new space. They can be appraised to determine their true value and then donated or passed on to the next generation as a family legacy gift.
You can organize and digitize as you go
Make sure you leave your space cleaner than it was when you found it. It will improve your day and make packing easier. Use trays and boxes to organize smaller items in your drawers. These can be easily moved from your current home to your new home.
Over the years, papers and files can accumulate so get your shredder and start to clean out your filing cabinets. You can get rid of any statements and tax-related paperwork older than seven years. You can scan other documents and organize them in digital files. If you can’t bear losing it (birth certificate, etc.), make sure to back them up on a separate drive. Make sure that you have somewhere safe to store your physical copies when you move into a new house.
You can reuse or memorialize items
You may have certain items in your home you want to keep, but they don’t work in your new space. First, take a photo of it and include it in your “treasure” photobook. If this doesn’t work, you might try to find a way to repurpose or upcycle it and incorporate it into your new space. Take this example:
- Your t-shirt stash can be made into a quilt you can actually use
- Turn your most prized pieces into wall art that you can enjoy every single day
- Turn an old toy chest into seating or storage.
Get help if needed
It can be difficult to manage both buying and selling simultaneously. You may need help if you feel overwhelmed by the process of downsizing or moving, or if you simply don’t have time. Although you could send out a request to your most organized family members, don’t make it seem like you have to. You should thank them for their help if they agree to do so.
You should know your strengths and weaknesses. If you are an organized person, you might just need to help move boxes on moving day. A professional organizer might be worth your investment if you struggle to get organized, or have difficulty letting go of things.
Tip for Organization: Hire someone to help you in your most difficult room, and then you can see if it is possible to apply the knowledge you have gained to other rooms.
Tip for packing: Do not pack jewelry, money, or other valuables. Instead, keep them close to you during the move, or temporarily store them in a vault.
Call Brunswick Organizing Solutions if you need help in downsizing, decluttering, or organizing your home.
Brunswick Organizing Solutions
Shallotte, NC 28470
Brunswick Organizing Solutions
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Leland, Wilmington, Shallotte, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Southport, Bolivia, St. James, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Carolina Shores, Calabash, Castle Hayne, Burgaw – Brunswick and Horry County