WISE UP TO SIZE DOWN
Take it easy. The best time to start the process is before the home goes on the market. Not only will it accomplish the "declutter and organize" edict from the real estate industry, but it gives you a head start on packing as well. One of the best systems is to work around the home, room-by-room. If the thought of sorting through an entire room is daunting, promise yourself you can stop when you get half the room done or the closet, or whatever else makes sense for you. Then, begin the next session in the same room, in a different area. Downsizing experts recommend that the first room we choose in the downsizing project is one that holds items of little sentimental value, such as the garage or the bathroom. How bad do you want it? When downsizing, it's obvious that not everything in your current home will fit in the new home. Sure, you can rent a storage unit for the overflow, but do you want that added expense cluttering up your new, more minimalist lifestyle? Keep in mind that we often feel overly attached to items (photo albums, souvenirs, or gifts received) because of the memories we associate with them. It's not the item; it's the memories Consider giving these items to other family members (who don't live with you) but who are associated with those memories. Letting go of the plaster-cast handprint your son proudly presented to you 25 years ago when he was six, the stacks of report cards, your daughter's soccer tournament trophy is easier if the items go to family. If your kids don't want them, take photos of them and then donate, sell, or (you won't like this one) throw them away. Is two of everything truly better than one? As you make your way through your home, you will no doubt come across extras or duplicates of many items. Many of them hide in the kitchen. These are the easy giveaways with no emotional attachment. Give excess kitchen items to your kids or charity. Animal rescues will greatly appreciate your gift of sheets, blankets, and towels. When the kids don't want your "stuff," remember, we're being ruthless with this downsizing process, find another way to dispose of it. Place unwanted furniture for sale in a consignment shop. You'll typically receive more for it there than you would were you to sell it in a garage sale or by using an online source, such as Craigslist.org or OfferUp.com. The best way to avoid becoming emotional and clinging to items you truly no longer need is to keep your eye on the prize: A new, downsized lifestyle: no more stairs, no more huge utility and tax bills. Focus on the adventure that awaits you. Don't forget to reach out and ask for my New Free Report: 3 Strategies to Increase Your Home's Value and my ebook: WISE UP TO SIZE DOWN:
It is free and a wealth of information!