“In today’s world of tiny houses, capsule wardrobes and consultant Marie Kondo, a lot of people have felt the urge to purge”. More and more of us are deciding to get rid of extra space, and extra stuff, and moving into something cozier and best efficient for our lives.
While several factors are important to us in choosing a home in our later years, which include items like having sidewalks, a nearby grocery store, and relatively short commutes to work, size is also a consideration. I don’t about you, but I don’t want to be taking care of a 2,000 square foot home in my wiser years – when I’ll most likely have trouble keeping an eye on my shoes!
When you’re newlyweds, eager to start a family, and want extra space for friends and relatives to stay while visiting, a big home fit the bill. But, now your children have their own homes (I hope!) and this big house is now too costly for your life. If you’re an Empty-Nester, now is the time to downsize into a small place.
MANY BABY BOOMERS ARE willing to downsize their home in order to lower their retirement costs. Moving to a less expensive house can simplify your life, to get your expenses under control and help you live out your life in financial security along with Peace of Mind!
Here’s 7 Tips To Downsize & Declutter Your Home
- Get motivated. Sometimes you need a reason to downsize. Maybe your son or daughter is moving back home (for a short period of time) and you have to make room, or you’re putting the house on the market in order to move down south. Having a deadline is a powerful motivator to set things in motion. If you don’t have an official move date, then set your own deadline, such as a birthday, anniversary, or the end of the year.
- Stop trying to impress everyone. Many people think they have to have the best of everything. But by this point in our lives we should be beyond such trivial comparisons. It’s not what you have in your life that’s important, it’s who and what you have in your life that brings you joy!. The books that sit on your shelves don’t matter as much as the books you’ve actually read. If you really want to impress your friends, display love and interest in what matters to them – instead of showcasing a garage full of junk.
- Make a plan. Start making lists and schedules. Come up with a priority-order of things to get done, then delegate who is responsible for what tasks. Who will clean out the garage by what date? Choose the charities that will accept your donations – my favorite is to hold a tag sale to make some extra moola! Determine a strategy for disposing of your household’s old textbooks, magazines, sports equipment, and decide who is going to negotiate with them about what they’re going to take and what they’re going to allow you to dispose of.
- Save only what “brings you joy”. Take a positive plan-of-attack. Don’t look at it like you’re getting rid of everything that has no home. Instead, think in terms of saving what’s important and what you will actually use in your new life. If an item doesn’t bring you joy, then let it go to someone else that can appreciate it to its fullest. Your goal is a smaller but more valuable collection of belongings.
- Get more decisive. Make decisions about each item. Sometimes decluttering goes in stages. As you proceed through the process, recognize how much energy organizing and disposing of all your stuff takes out of you. You will begin to realize that what seemed like “I can’t live without this” two months ago now just seems like extra stuff. You’ll become more practical, develop a determination to keep your clutter under control. Then, you’ll start moving through your piles more quickly.
- Rent a storage unit . . . Not Long Term! Make no mistake, downsizing is a lot of work, and emotional issues may hold you up. If you just can’t find a way to scale down to the level you need, then rent a storage unit and put the overflow in there. Set a deadline for paying the fee; 3 months? A year? Go back and take another look before the deadline. You’ll have fresh eyes and clearer mind to make decisions to complete the job at that point.
- Enjoy the new You! The earlier you downsize the better, physically, socially and financially. It’s about giving up something today for something you truly want or need. The payoff is often a fresh start, lower living expenses, less house-related work, a different lifestyle with less stress and more freedom to travel or whatever is most important to you.
Going through a lifetime of possessions may require professional assistance. Not everyone is comfortable, for example, helping people go through family heirlooms. Figure out which pieces family members might want and which to sell, donate or keep. Consider archiving your children’s drawings and photographs digitally. Some opt for an estate sale, garage sale or yard sale, depending on what they have. Whatever you may need help with a Professional Organizer is skilled and educated to help with your declutter & downsize project.
Are you looking for assistance with downsizing your home? Comment me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk about what the next step will be for you.
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