Helpful Downsizing Tips

The downsizing process can be overwhelming physically and emotionally. To lessen anxiety and to begin this difficult task, owner Theresa Tucciarelli offers some helpful hints to get you started.

The biggest thing to remember is “BABY STEPS!”
Downsizing takes time. I suggest, if at all possible; get an early start on the process. It would be wise to start before you even think about moving.

The best way to start is to pick a room that is seldom used, maybe even start with a closet or a couple of drawers. To avoid clutter, bring medium sized boxes, (you do not want them to get too heavy). Start to bring things out and decide in what category it should go: Charity, family, to sell, or to keep, (make sure you keep a careful log of contents and label all the boxes). As you go through your belongings think about the last time you used it. Has it been a year or more? Will you need it in your new home and will there be a place for it?

The trick is to do a little at a time, keep it clean, organized, and keep good records.

Make a commitment not to spend too many hours sorting, it is not only physically exhausting but going through your life’s possessions is also emotionally draining. Working for one to two hours with regular breaks may help to make the job less stressful and overwhelming and it may even help you make better choices on decision making.

Don’t rush, this is a time you should reflect on.
Your life’s possessions have many stories behind them, take the time to laugh and to cry. Write a short story about a family heirloom so the significance of a treasure will always be treasured for generations to come.

Begin by asking these questions:

  • Have I used this in the last year?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Do I have more than one?
  • Do I really need it in my new home?
  • Can I get by without this? Would I have to replace it if I choose to get rid of it?
  • Is it a family heirloom? Is there someone in the family to whom I want to pass it down?
    (If so, it is a good idea to write a note explaining the item’s history and significance so the story does not get lost in the next generations.)

As you ask these questions, either sort them into small to medium boxes labeling what they are and where they should  go.

  • to your new home
  • to family
  • to a sale ( if you choose to have one)
  • to one or more charities
  • to be disposed of

If you’re using boxes, label and keep a journal of the contents of the boxes that will be moving with you. It is a good idea not to use boxes that are too big as they are heavy and awkward. A small to medium box is a good choice.

Have family members pick up items, or send the items to them as soon as possible.

Store in an out of the way place until you’re ready for your sale (if you choose to have one.) in a safe place and out of the way place until you choose where they go. Charity boxes should be labeled and donated as soon as possible.

By organizing as you go, half the battle of moving will be already done.

labeled boxes for sorting household items, clothes