The holidays present some challenges for downsizers. While the idea of entertaining, giving and receiving gifts, and generally staying busy with seasonal obligations and activities can make us feel like we don’t have time to think about downsizing, December can actually be a great time to make some progress on your downsizing goals. Our 12 Days of Downsizing tips can help you make the most of the season and get ahead on downsizing tasks too!
1) Sort and Declutter your Holiday Decorations
Take the time to pull out ALL of your holiday decorations early in the season. Use your favorite items to decorate indoors and out using the supplies (and the energy!) you have available. Any supplies that don’t make the cut should be donated early in the season so that others may use them. When it’s time to store them again, you’ll be grateful for the extra space!
2) Look for Opportunities to Donate Items for Gifting
Look around your community for schools, churches, or local charities that sponsor Holiday Markets. These popular events create an opportunity to donate household items, coats, costume jewelry, and other gift-able items so that others may re-use them for gift-giving.
3) Address Your Honey-Do List
Make a list of small repairs or improvements that will make your home safe and welcoming for the season. Be sure to leave electrical and plumbing repairs to the experts, and to use supplies that you have on hand before you head out to the hardware store. When you’re ready to move, you’ll be glad to have a shorter list of home maintenance tasks.
4) Use Up Your Wrapping Supplies
Make an effort to use up all of the gift wrap, greeting cards, ribbons and gift boxes you’ve accumulated over the years. If you have holiday supplies you haven’t reached for in many years, it’s probably time to move them to the donation or recycling pile.
5) Clear Out the Pantry
In preparation for the season, check your pantry, refrigerator and freezer for outdated or unwanted food items. Once you have only fresh food on hand, work on eating or sharing what you have and resisting the urge to stock up again.
6) Let the Liquor Go
Some say that spirits don’t go bad, but if you have liquor you’ve had on hand for several years, it may be time to move it out. Low-quality or cloudy bottles should be tossed, while others should be shared or enjoyed.
7) Choose Your Favorite Dinner Ware
Use your favorite items to set a holiday table or buffet, and set aside the pieces you chose not to use this year or no longer need.
8) Lighten Up Your Linens and Towels
Take a quick pass through your linen closet and remove tired towels, fraying blankets, or unneeded table linens. Look for textile recycling in your area for well-worn items.
9) Sort Your Gadgets
Take note of the kitchen tools you use as you prepare your favorite meals this season. Most downsizers find that duplicate or specialty tools don’t usually make the cut when they pack their kitchen for their next home.
10) Pitch Plastic Containers
Plastic food containers seem to multiply in our cabinets. Make an effort to use the ones you have on hand to send holiday treats or send leftovers home with guests. In the future consider only having enough to save a few days’ worth of food storage.
11) Offer Items to Visiting Family Members
If you are thinking about downsizing over the next year, now is an excellent time to offer heirloom or sentimental items. If you don’t get any takers, allow yourself to donate or sell those items instead.
12) Focus on What Really Matters
Most downsizers report that the best part of the process is enjoying the freedom to enjoy spending time with friends and family without the responsibility of managing a large home and owning a lot of “stuff”.
Are you downsizing your belongings and looking forward to a smaller, more manageable space? Let us know what you’re up to! We can give you free tools and resources to get you started, and introduce you to qualified, helpful people in your area to step in when you need them.
Get in touch today to learn more about how we can save you time, energy, and money with your home transition.