The very idea of beginning to downsize is daunting for more than one reason. The pending emotions bound to resurface in sifting through the years lived in one place is enough. Painful decisions of what to keep, what to toss. Not to mention the sheer volume of STUFF that’s been accumulated.
We’re sharing 10 Tips you’ll be glad you read early on in this process!
- Start with Empathy – Planting the idea of Downsizing in a loved-one’s mind may be met with enthusiasm and support! More likely though, fear and resistance will speak first – and understandably so! Before taking any action, initiate the process with a two-way conversation, making sure to express your understanding and support.
- Capture the Now – Photographs are an excellent (and space efficient) tool in recording memories. Before you begin, take photos of the beloved space – the furniture arrangement, the collection of shelved memories, story-filled wear and tear displayed in the walls, floor, or stairs. Document things just as they are and move forward with the reassuring ability to look back and smile at any given time.
- Gain Momentum with an Easy Win – Start your Downsizing Journey out in a small room with fewer emotional ties.
- Pace Yourselves – Set reasonable expectations by allowing time for rest and reminiscence. Allow time to re-cultivate patience as it will certainly be required!
- Throw Away – Run a quick sweep over everything to identify low-value, unneeded and non-sentimental items to toss and be done with!
- Gift – Not all unneeded items call for a trash-bag. Share the value of appropriate items by passing them along to friends and family or by donating. It can be freeing to know that parting with possessions will create new life and experiences for someone else.
- Sell – Establish a list of the items best to sell and match them with the best sales-platform. If you’re working with large furniture items, perhaps a local sale would be best through Garage Sales, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace! Higher-value items small enough to ship will be most profitable through specialized search-platforms like Amazon or eBay.
- Save – Consider the space you or your loved one will be moving to. Map it out to determine the furniture that will fit! Check into the storage space available when it comes to occasional-use items. Take some time to identify the top items in your current space that make it feel like Home. Make sure those keepsakes go with and are easily seen or accessible to carry on that familiarity in your new space.
- Know Your Amenities - Depending on the arrangement, perhaps certain appliances will no longer be necessary! Do some research to figure this out, and knock some larger items off your list.
- Revisit the Save Pile – chances are it will need to be whittled down a little bit more!