The thought of downsizing makes me nervous, what do I keep and what about my sentimental items? Many of us have been living in the same place for a long period of time and have accumulated so much. It’s tough to know what you should take with you and what needs to go, making this task discouraging.
Recently, my aunt decided to move into a smaller place. Unfortunately, as we started going through her things she realized downsizing was a larger task than she expected. She didn’t realize how much she had kept; cards, letters, photographs, knick knacks and more. Here are 5 tips we used to help her downsize:
- Take pictures of sentimental items. This includes items like handwritten notes, cards, children’s artwork or essays. Bring a few of the items with you and take pictures of the rest, this allows you to reflect on the items later without taking up space.
- Minimize dust collectors. Do you have entire collections of porcelain cat statues or decorative plates? Keep one or two of your favourite pieces and take pictures of the rest. Try to cut down on your surfaces. Cabinets and shelves may take up less space but they provide you with more surfaces to fill with those notorious dust collectors.
- Books. Start by getting rid of books you’ve only read once and won’t read again. If you’re an avid reader, try consolidating your books onto an e-reader like a Kindle or Kobo. Keep a few of your paper copies but remember the more books, the more space they take up.
- The kitchen. Do you really need 16 place settings for your new place? Reach out to your community or second hand store to see if anyone could use the extras you don’t need. Next, check your utensils and appliances for duplicates! Do you have items that do the same thing? Can you borrow the mixer you use once a year? Are you ever really going to fix that extra toaster?
- Closets. Go through your closet and take the time to see what fits, what doesn’t and is it still your style? If the items are in good condition you can take them to Good Will. Also, if you haven’t worn it in more than a year it’s time to let it go.
After using these tips we were able to take the stress out of moving for my aunt and get her into her new place with minimal boxes!