Simple Routines to Kick-Start Downsizing
If you’re thinking about Downsizing sometime soon, the sheer volume of stuff in your home may feel overwhelming. In fact, just staying on top of “regular” sources of clutter can keep us busy on a daily basis! However, small changes to your routine can help you chip away at your downsizing tasks without demanding a huge time commitment. Consider incorporating some of these ideas into your weekly routine when you’re ready to start downsizing:
This may seem obvious, but recreational shopping is a habit that can go unnoticed and can also be hard to break! It’s also a source of excess belongings that could derail your downsizing efforts. The big stuff is easy: stay away from buying any type of tools, housewares, linens, decorative items, and unneeded clothing. You should also be sure to question smaller purchases that include everyday items such as soaps, hair products, cleaning products, and other items you may already have at home.
Turn Things Away
Let you friends and family know that you are trying to thin out your belongings and that you would value time spent together over gifts. In particular, do not allow your downsizing friends to pawn their belongings off on you!
Take Advantage of Free Trash Pick Ups
If you have a regular trash pickup, research the upper limits for items that will automatically be picked up on your route, plus the cost or allowances for larger items to be picked up with prior arrangement. Haul-away expenses for your unwanted items can add up, so it makes sense to maximize your current system to regularly dispose of any items you can carry yourself and can’t be donated.
Tackle the Pantry
Work on consuming, donating or discarding the food you’re storing in your pantry, cabinets, storage areas and refrigerators/freezers. Food you haven’t wanted to eat in the past year should either be eaten soon, or be pulled out for donation or disposal. This applies to liquor, beer, wine and mixers you may have been storing, too! Food and beverages are almost never worth the expense of moving.
Find Free Donation Centers Near You
Since the pandemic, some long-established donation centers have dramatically changed the types of items they accept, or even limited donations of any type for long stretches of time. If you know of donation centers that are accepting household items or clothing in your area, try to make a weekly trip to drop off items you won’t need at your new residence. These types of drop-offs can be real time-savers because the items don’t have to be sorted in advance. Consider using paper or plastic grocery bags to load up your donations, and make it a weekly routine.
Look for Other Places to Donate
You may have to get creative and look beyond the most obvious donation centers and thrift stores to find new homes for your stuff. Consider calling local schools, daycare centers, churches, shelters, community centers, animal hospitals, etc. to see if they can use craft materials, linens, clothing, tools or housewares.
Start Identifying Your Very Favorite Things
Sometimes we value items because they were expensive, once belonged to someone we love, reminds us of happy times, or because we’ve had them for a long time. These are all valid reasons if you have the space! Use this time to make an honest assessment of non-functional belongings: Do you truly love to share space with this item? What if all of your favorite things had to fit in a row boat? What would make the cut? Make a mental (or actual!) list and start releasing the rest.
Get Going with a 15-Minute a Day Plan
Fifteen minutes a day can make a tremendous difference in your efforts. It really adds up and keeps your efforts top of mind too. Subscribe to our 15-minutes a day downsizing plan that gives you a 15-minute job to do each weekday for a year.
When you need to downsize, there are plenty of things that you can do for yourself. However, when the time comes to make a move, you will most definitely need some sort of help! when it’s time to make a move. Call us first for qualified and vetted downsizing help in your town.