Whether you are moving or simply liberating space in your current home, downsizing a home can be stressful and daunting if you do not have a plan.
In its simplicity, the key to downsizing is to rid your life of unnecessary belongings while keeping the things you do need. It sounds pretty simple, but for most people, it is not.
In this four-part series, we will share what we have learned from assisting a multitude of homeowners downsize and successfully acclimate to their new home. By incorporating our nine steps into your downsize plan, you can create a happy and tasteful environment made for daily living.
TIP 1: Plan and Measure
TIP 2: Determine Your Lifestyle Needs
TIP 3: Edit and Organize
When editing, most people start with what they do not need. Marie Kondo, the author of “Tidying Up” and the star of the new Netflix show, suggests the opposite works best. Start with what you know you will keep. Learn more about Marie’s editing and organizing techniques.
Discover What You Use
Noting what you use regularly is a great way to decide what you need to keep when you downsize. For example, place all of your kitchen utensils and craft supplies in a box. As you use them put them in a cabinet or container marked for keeping. Evaluate what is left in the box after six months or so, and anything left should be donated.
If you have tried Maria’s techniques to edit clothing by asking yourself if it gives you joy and are still having trouble getting rid of things, you may want to try this technique. Place all of your hangers backward on the bar and then hang it back up with the hanger facing forward when you wear it. At the end of a year, give anything still hanging backward to charity.
Go Through Each Room and Ask Questions
Begin with the areas of your home that are less used, such as a spare bedroom or the basement, as it is easier to get rid of things that are mostly storage items.
As you go through each area, examine how you use each item:
- Does it spark joy?
- Does it serve a function in my new life?
- When was the last time this was used? How often do I use it?
- Do I own another item that can perform the same function?
- Would I need to replace it if I decided to get rid of it?
- Is it in good shape? Will it last for a long time?
- Does it need repair, and if so, is it worth repairing?
- Do I know someone who would profit more from its use?
How to Handle Sentimental Items
As you are sorting through things, you will no doubt come across items with sentimental value. Allow yourself some time to pause and let the nostalgia take over. Cry if you need to, or move on to another room with less emotional attachments and then go back and finish the job.
Keep the things that are especially important as these are the items that are a part of your heritage. Family heirlooms add character and personality to a home when they are properly incorporated into a home. However, remember that it is your family that is important for the memories you cherish, not the things themselves.
Ask the Kids and Grandkids Over for a Reminiscing and Bonding Session
Share your stories of where you bought your favorite trinkets. Tell them about your family’s heirlooms, let them ask questions, and involve them in the packing. Older kids and grandkids can help by posting items for sale.
Hiring a professional to guide you through this process and to help create and implement the vision for your new home will make the transition more enjoyable. Contact Marina Dagenais at email@example.com or 303.916.9515 to schedule your free consultation today!
Stay tuned for Part Three: Think Quality and Multipurpose coming to you next week! Subscribe to our blog and get the next piece of content straight to your inbox.
Marina Dagenais is the principle of Designer Premier. Marina is known as The Design Matchmaker as she offers a complimentary service that matches homeowners to interior designers, and other design professionals, based on personality, the scope of the project, design aesthetic, and budget. There is no increase in fees for professionals found through her.