Practical Guide to Downsizing

[This article was first run on Touchmark Retirement Community’s February Newsletter]

A Practical Guide to Downsizing – Part I

I like to think of “downsizing” as “right-sizing”. It’s not about eliminating stuff in order to move into a smaller space; it’s actually a result of an intentional decision to live according to what’s true for you NOW. I’m going to cover several important points to help you right-size your life, belongings, and space in this short article series. I hope you’ll follow along!

WHERE SHOULD YOU BEGIN PARING DOWN?

Before you begin, make a priority list of the categories of things that have the greatest value to you, starting with the few things you’d save in a fire.  Once you know your priorities (memorabilia, special books or fishing gear, for example), you will have more clarity about what to bring with you.

Next, tour your future home if possible and assess the space possibilities and constraints.  Is most of the square footage in public spaces (like the kitchen, living room and family room) or private spaces (bedrooms, bathrooms and closets)?  What is the available storage like?  Is there a garage, attic or basement?  How many closets (including coat, hall and linen closets) are available?

Asking space questions will help you set your expectations properly at the beginning of your organizing process.  You will be able to tell how much furniture you can realistically bring and decide on the purpose of each space in advance.

 

HOW DO YOU TACKLE A LARGE AMOUNT OF STUFF IN A SHORT TIME?

The best start to any organizing project, including downsizing, is to dedicate enough time to the process.  If you move in a hurry, you may make snap decisions that you’ll regret.  Devise a timeline from now to your moving day, and schedule the necessary steps on your timeline.

If the thought of transferring the contents of your home to another location terrifies you, it may save your nerves to hire a professional organizing consultant to guide you through the process, maximize your reduced square footage and help you execute a hassle-free move.

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