In recent years, homes have been getting smaller. There are several factors impacting this trend, including higher building material costs, sustainability, limited space in high-demand areas, and the prioritization of experiences over things.
In simple terms, priorities have changed.
This shift in priorities has many homeowners planning to downsize. Unfortunately, that means making their current existence fit their desired lifestyle.
Here are some practical tips to help you downsize your home before you move to a smaller place.
Find Your Best Decluttering Method
There are many ways to declutter and let go of material things; only you can decide the best method for yourself.
One of the most popular decluttering methods of recent years is the Marie Kondo method. With this strategy, you ask if something has a purpose and if it sparks joy. If it has no purpose and doesn’t spark joy, you get rid of it. The benefit of this approach is that it’s simple and intuitive. The downside is that it gets into the weeds and many people find it overwhelming.
Another method is the Four Box method. With this approach, you have four boxes: donate, keep, trash, storage. The benefit of this method is that it’s simple and forces you to organize as you go. The downside is that storage box, which could lead to more harm than good. Some people prefer to swap out the storage box with a Schrödinger box (nee: quarantine box, which is too triggering now). Things they aren’t sure about go in the Schrödinger box and get sealed until a later date. If you don’t remember or miss what’s in the box, donate it unopened.
There are many other techniques you can research online. Find one that works for you.
Pack as You Go
As you declutter your home, pack away the items you won’t need in the months leading up to your move, such as seasonal decor and clothing, specialty kitchen tools, etc. That way, when you’re ready to call a professional moving company in your area, a good chunk of the work is already done.
Take an Eco-Friendly Approach
One thing to keep in mind while decluttering is to not make a negative impact on the environment. Whenever possible, donate gently used items to a charitable organization that will reuse or sell the items to support their cause.
Be sure to follow recycling guidelines for other items as well, only sending unsalvageable items to the landfill.
Break It Into Baby Steps
Most decluttering gurus will tell you to break the process into a room-by-room approach. Consider breaking it down further by writing a list of things to tackle in each room. That way, rather than thinking about spending your Saturday decluttering the living room, you can spend 15 minutes on that box of charging cables while watching Netflix. Or, 30 minutes of decluttering toys while listening to a podcast.
This strategy helps prevent overwhelm and lets you practice effective time management.
Remove Downsized Items Immediately
After you’ve determined that something has to go, get it out of the house ASAP so that you don’t change your mind. This strategy is especially important if you have kids around. Put those donation boxes in your trunk and drop them off the next time you leave the house. Put garbage in opaque trash bags and have them ready to go for garbage day.
On the flip side of getting rid of items is refusing to buy new items. Make a rule that you won’t buy any new unnecessary material goods before your move. If you absolutely “must have it,” then set a rule that two items must go in its place.
Consider the New Space
Finally, consider the look and size of your new home and determine whether the items you have will fit. If you can’t picture it in your new space or you lack the space to store it, consider whether you truly need it.
With these strategies, you can declutter and downsize before your move to simplify the process and enjoy your new cozy home.