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Let’s Review What Downsizing Your Home For a Move Means

You have raised your beautiful family and are now winding down your career. Time to reap the joys of a job, or many jobs well done. Do you dream of traveling, playing with your grands, golf, write a memoir, start a fun new career? Whatever your dreams are I believe anything is possible.

Are you moving to a smaller space?

One of the hardest parts of downsizing is you presently have a lifetime of things and are moving into a quite likely a smaller space hence the term downsizing. All this stuff is not going to fit in your new home. As hard as this may be to hear your kids don’t want your stuff.

Royal who?

I need to get rid of the really large service of gold rimmed Royal Doulton china I got saddled with that is taking up valuable storage space. That this stuff landed here, considering my preference has always been for a minimalistic lifestyle, is pretty funny. For me I did not want to hurt this dear aunt’s feelings. Auntie has been gone a long time now and it is time to get rid of this stuff.

Tea parties are the past

It is important to remember most millennials do not have tea parties and formal dinners where china is used. They just don’t. If they are like me they don’t even have dining tables. China cabinets etc. too are not much of a thing today. So bite the bullet and sell or donate your stuff would be my suggestion. Try not to guilt trip the family would be another. All your beautiful belongings served a valuable purpose at one point. That time has now passed.

Are life long belongings and mementos clutter?

It sounds rude to call a home that is filled with love and way too much stuff clutter. Much of it is though. I am not lucky enough to have a garage attached to my home. If I did I can assure you my car would be in it with possibly a few gardening tools. I am of the mind once the stuff gets moved to the garage it is ready to go to its final resting place. This was certainly true for my cellar.

Obstacles to downsizing

When it coms to decluttering our home environment, one of the biggest obstacles we face is the fear of letting go. There are many reasons this is so. Sentimental attachment, perceived value, fear of regretting a decision we made are a few reasons the task of decluttering is overwhelming. Also many simply say they don’t know where to begin. If you are planning to downsize to new home this is a great time to get rid of all the stuff that is no longer serving you.

Why do we fear letting go?

Because we have formed an emotional and/or sentimental value to stuff. Maybe these things belonged to someone we love. We make memories around things.

20/20 rule

We may regret getting rid of the thing because what if we need it in the future. There is a rule for this known as the 20/20 rule. It goes like this – if the item can be re purchased for under 20$ or takes less than 20 minutes to replace get rid of it.

Sometimes we fear if we get rid of something our identities, or how we perceive ourselves is more accurate, may take a hit. I am thinking of how someone may feel if they lose the big house and snappy cars etc during a divorce or job loss.

Then there is the scarcity mindset. We may fear if we get rid of it we may never be able to replace it.

There is life after letting go!

Here are some practical tips to make the process of decluttering manageable.

Start small!

If you need to start with just one object so be it. Pick up the object and ask yourself if this object is either functional or so gorgeous you simply cannot discard. If it doesn’t fit those categories it just may be trash, a donation or an object to sell. It is extremely easy and cheap to get rid of stuff these days.

Sales Venues

For sales an easy solution is Facebook Marketplace. There are other resale online venues as well, such as Craigs list. There are also brick and mortar consignment shops. You will have to lug the stuff around though if you choose to consign. At best is a 50/50 split and often less. I personally find it easier to have a porch pick up arranged on FB Marketplace.

Donations

Most communities have a Salvation Army or Goodwill stores to donate things. Again I find it easier to list item(s) on Freecycle.org and arrange a porch pick up. Why? I don’t have to schlepp the goods around. Donating is nice because there are people that can benefit greatly by our donations of gently used goods. This makes me feel good and who doesn’t like to feel good!

Write out your goal

Decide your end goal. By clearly and concisely writing this goal on paper or digitally, you will have a road map where you are going. If you are unsure of your goal write that on a piece of paper and keep writing about your situation and I guarantee your goal will magically present itself to you.

Writing is a tool

Maybe you know your goal. By having it written or typed in black and white you will have a record to revert back to if you begin to veer off track. This happens regularly. I have written extensively about writing as a tool to use for the process of letting go.

Focus on the present

For me I find it easier and cleaner to close one door before embarking on a new thing. For about 40 years I have been practicing the idea of letting go of the past, not worrying about the future and trying to stay in the present. Like everything this gets easier with practice.

Let it go

It makes no sense to me to carry the past hurts and disappointments around. If I carried all that ick around with me my heart would not ooze with gratitude as it does today. My heartfelt gratitude makes me feel lighter and more receptive to the many opportunities that come to me. Happy, joyous and free are always my end game!

Practice gratitude

Focusing on what we do have rather than what we are letting go of is the best approach. I learned a magical trick a long time ago that has served me magnificently all these years. As an artist that has supported herself for 30 years now, cash was not always a readily available commodity. Rather than whine about all I didn’t have I made a choice to Love what I do have! This teensy mindset tweak fills my heart with gratitude because there are days I look around and honestly I can’t even believe all I have.

What adventure awaits you!

A great way to look at downsizing is to consider yourself fortunate to be able to downsize. Not everyone gets this gift. Maybe a shorter lifespan or financial considerations make the opportunity to downsize and move unavailable to some. You get to embark on another whole adventure! What isn’t to love!

I love watching people retire from their paying jobs, downsize, move to a new home and make other big and often scary changes. Having a front row seat, watching people make these big life changes has been such a gift to me. The places friends and acquaintances go, the things they do with this next act in life are just amazing!

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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