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Downsizing: What to Throw Away and What to Keep?

April 15, 2015

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Downsizing? What you should keep and what you should throw away! #declutter #organization

Life is always changing. Those that have raised children and made a home or career may find that some of those changes require decluttering and downsizing your home or business. Perhaps, retirement is on the horizon or a financial emergency has happened. You might need less space and decide to move into something smaller.

The Storage Unit Solution

Whatever your reason for downsizing, it is easy to become overwhelmed. It can be very difficult to decide what to let go and what to keep. Some things you may no longer use but do not want to part from either. It may hold special memories or it may be something you feel like you might use again in the future. An excellent solution for those items you want to keep, yet are causing your home or office to feel cluttered is a personal storage unit.

Tips for a Successful Downsize

With a few tips downsizing and deciding what to store and what to get rid of is a much easier process.

  • Give yourself plenty of time. It can be tempting just to get done quickly. But if you make snap decisions you could accidentally throw something out that you wanted.
  • Have a system. Do one room at a time. Doing them all at once will make you feel overwhelmed and like nothing is getting finished. Work according to the flow of the home or start on outward rooms first and work in.
  • Follow the OHIO Rule which means only handle it once. Be decisive and avoid having a pile of things you are unsure about. Only have things to keep, things to donate or sell and things to throw away. A “maybe” pile will double your work so decide what to do with an item the first time you handle it. Ask yourself do you use it? Is it sentimental value?  Do you have more than one? After questioning use your answers as a guide to make your decision,
  • If you have huge collections of for example, dolls, bottles, shoes and so on ask yourself to pick ten favorites. Keep these and donate, sell or store the rest. If you store them you can always switch out the ten for another ten. That way you can still enjoy your collections but they will not be all over your time taking up valuable space.
  • Most of us have closets and drawers full of clothing we never wear. It could be a favorite shirt that will never be in style again or several different sizes. People tend to keep clothing as they gain or lose weight just “in case” which usually never happens. Donate good usable clothing and throw away the rest. Only keep what you actually wear.
  • One of the biggest items to downsize is furniture. How much of it do you really use? Are any of your pieces family heirlooms? If so, consider giving it to the person intended now.  Break up furniture sets if needed. Do you have a living room set where a couch is used but the matching chair or tables barely see any use? Get rid of the extra pieces. Only keep functional furniture.

The Benefits of Downsizing

Downsizing doesn’t need to be a problem as long as you stay focused on deciding what fits your current lifestyle. Afterwards you will enjoy freedom of movement and less of the stress that having too much stuff can cause. You will have more free time because there will be less to take care of, plus money will be saved by not having to pay for upkeep of things you do not use.

When you are downsizing what do you keep? What do you throw away? Why?

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