If you are downsizing from a large 3,000 square foot space to 1,000 square feet or less, 70% percent of your items will need to be disposed of. This could be a lifetime of treasures collected over time, many attached with memories that mean a great deal to you, but moving time, is a time to really work on decluttering before downsizing.
There are a couple of ways you can start the decluttering. You could start by decluttering by room or do it the Mary Kondo way by decluttering by category. It’s up to you, but here are some suggestions on how to get started.
Using the 70% rule, your new closet space is going to be a lot smaller than your existing one, so where to start? If you haven’t worn an article for a year, then you most likely aren’t going to wear it at all, so that is a great start to the whole clothes purge process.
Next step is to go through clothes and immediately eliminate all the ones that might be your favourites but are on their last legs. Toss out everything that is getting worn out, needs repairs, or is completely out of style.
Now we are getting to the quantity of items left. Summer and winter clothes can be separated and pared down to what are the essentials and what items can be mixed and matched to make new combinations and therefore a new look. This will completely cut down on the quantity of clothes that you need.
Will you have a full kitchen in your next location, or a much smaller kitchen area? If you have a more compact kitchen, then a complete purge of your utensils, cutlery, plates, etc. will be required.
This is a good time to go through all your spices and throw out the ones that have been around for a long time and just keep the essential seasonings.
Garages and basements seem to be holding places for all our junk, so a complete purge of these areas will probably be required. Keep only the items you will need in your new place and colour label the rest of the items to sell, toss, re-gift or donate.
Many charities take used books, so do consider boxing up your books and getting rid of 70% of them. Magazines have no real value unless they are a specific collectors item, so it’s time to pitch these out with your recycling every week until there are no more left
This might be a great place to start. Imagine what your holidays are going to look like in the future and take this into consideration. Will you have a Christmas tree, or be entertaining a large crowd? If you are moving into a condo/retirement community, they might have even have a community room that is already decorated for holidays. Make inquiries and you might be able to give away your holiday decorating treasures to your family and pitch the rest. Holiday decorations take up a lot of room.
Family heirlooms can be passed down to your family members and once that has been completed, then just keep your most treasured items and decide how to deal with the rest. If they are real antiques then they will be sellable, but if not, they have to be given away or discarded.
This is an area where the digital age can help. All your photos can be stored in digital picture albums and the originals that take up space can then be released.
Envision where you will be moving to and what furniture will fit in this new location. Items that don’t fit can be donated, sold or given to members of your family. Remember, though the value to someone else is going to be a lot less than you paid for it when new. The goal, however, is to move into your new location clutter free. So you might have to be ruthless about what furniture has to go.
Emotionally it can be hard for seniors to let go, but our aim is to help with these decluttering tips before downsizing. If you are a senior and you live in the Hamilton, Burlington, Dundas, Oakville, Ancaster and surrounding areas and are having difficulties, give us a call.
Or If you are finding this whole process of moving overwhelming, then call in the experts. At 360 home+staging we can take care of all these details for you and help you organize, pack up and move all your items to your new location. If your house needs repairs, read our article on Six Tips for Updating a House to Sell.
Connect with us to see how we can help.