Downsizing: We hear the term over and over but what does it actually mean?
Downsizing essentially means “getting rid of stuff so the rest will fit into a smaller living space”. For people living through a downsizing experience, it can be a time of stress and confusion over a great deal of details and decision-making. For seniors going into a retirement home, it means reducing a lifetime of collected belongings.
Need some guidance? Consider the Top 3 Decluttering Tips below when you find yourself faced with downsizing dilemmas, and utilize our free downloadable Moving Checklist at the bottom!
Downsizing Dilemma #1
I’m stressed out!
At the best of times, moving is stressful. Contrary to our wishes, life doesn’t stop just so that you can get all your packing done. Add downsizing to the mix and your anxiety can go through the roof.
- Start sorting and purging belongings as soon as you know you’re going to be moving; ideally you will have at least several months for this process. The more stuff you have, the more time you’re going to need.
- Make as many decisions as possible based on how they will affect your stress level. For example, choose a thrift store that will pick up all your donations rather than trying to run around town and drop things off at different charitable organizations.
- Know when to ask for help, and be specific about what kind of help you need. Decide if family or friends will be helpful or actually add to your stress. Consider outsourcing to professional home organizers-you can still be part of the purging process but professionals will help keep you on task until the job is done.
Downsizing Dilemma #2
My stuff is not worth much money!
Downsizing means letting go of some of your treasured belongings. Most people like to think they can sell their furniture and recoup some of their money outlay. Discovering that your expensive belongings don’t retain their value on the market can come as a shock. Even the most concerted efforts to sell items can produce little financial rewards.
- If you have time and need to make as much money as possible from your belongings, contact your local auction house to determine if your belongings have any value. You can take pictures and send them via email to get a quick response. Alternatively, check out a neighbourhood second-hand store and ask if they are interested in buying your unwanted items.
- Consider selling your belongings via an internet marketplace such as Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, or Poshmark. This is often your best option for recouping some money for your items. **
- Embrace the art of donating to charity. If money is not your prime concern but time is, then “paying it forward” is a lovely philosophy to embrace. What no longer is of value to you might be someone else’s treasure, as the saying goes.
Downsizing Dilemma #3
How will all of my stuff fit into my new place?!
You’ll need to accurately measure all your furniture and the dimensions of your new space to then figure out where it will all fit. It almost takes a math degree to figure out! But you’ll also want to set up your new space with intention; ensuring the room still flows nicely.
- If you have access to a floor plan of your new space this will be extremely helpful. However, cutting out tiny little pieces of paper furniture and moving them around on a paper floor plan is not for the faint of heart. A great alternative to this is to find a user friendly app to help out with this task.
- There are, of course, many other details to consider when moving and downsizing. For a more extensive list to guide you week by week, take hold of our printable Moving Checklist & some great packing tips here.
If you’ve never considered hiring a Professional Organizer before, this may be the time to do just that. Professional Organizers can bring a great deal of expertise and support to facilitate the downsizing and moving process, and reduce the amount of stress and confusion. Consider us the relocation masters! We can help pare down your belongings (which in turn, also preps your home for staging if you’re selling your home too) and we’re diligent packers to boot, ensuring that only the things you need and love make it to your new space-setting you up for success!
Always feel free to reach out, we'd love to help you!