In the words of Bertrand Russell, “It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else that prevents men from living freely and nobly.”
Downsizing. Tiny houses. Minimalism. Whether you prefer a smaller home over a larger one, are an empty-nester, or just prefer to live a simpler lifestyle, downsizing is a current trend not only in real estate, but in home décor as well.
Downsizing means eliminating waste, paring down and focusing on what matters to you most. Many of you begin the process only to reach a roadblock – you don’t want to be wasteful. Your gut tells you that getting rid of perfectly good things is wasteful. BUT, the waste is not in what you get rid of, it is the waste of buying something that you really didn’t need – a difficult lesson to learn.
Here are a few tips you may want to consider as you begin the freeing process of downsizing and decluttering.
- First – you need to do is take an inventory of your belongings.
- Identify your favorite things – the items you do not want to give away or sell.
- Separate these from the ones you do want to donate or sell.
- Measure your new space accurately. Most people make the mistake of thinking their smaller space is larger than what it really is and end up transferring too many things from their old home to their new one.
- Plan/sketch out how you want your new, smaller space to look and then carefully select the appropriate pieces to decorate.
According to decluttering experts, some of the easiest things to get rid are:
- Memorabilia – old medals, ribbons, cards or announcements, souvenirs, etc.
- Clothing you don’t wear – “you don’t need a tee-shirt to prove you went to a conference”
- CDs and DVDs – you can get all the music and movies you want on the Internet
- Books – After you read them – donate them.
- Sporting equipment – get rid of old skis, skates, etc. Clear your garage and basement of unusable or used a long time ago relics.
- Kitchen gadgets – If you are harboring an ice cream maker and a lot of other “stuff” in drawers and cabinets, cut your losses and get rid of them.
Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home, by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand
Downsizing Your Home with Style: Living Well In a Smaller Space, by Lauri Ward
Downsizing and Moving? Items to Throw Away before Relocating: www.aarp.org