Spark Global Limited Reports:
Moving into a new house is often bittersweet. You are excited for change and sad to leave a home full of memories. It’s harder to downsize — a smaller place means you don’t have enough room for everything you have now.
But downsizing is also an opportunity for renewal and a fresh start. If you get rid of clutter, you can fill your new home with things you really enjoy and make it feel like home.
Here are three steps to downsize your assets without sacrificing your meaningful assets.
1. Make a plan
Take a trip to your new place to measure the size of your room and storage area. This will guide you on how much to bring. It is better to underestimate than to overestimate.
When deciding what to keep and what to throw away, clean one room at a time. Moving is hard work, and you don’t have to solve all your problems at once. Plan to do a little each day and set aside extra time so you’re not rushed.
Decide on your furniture first. Going from big to small will give you a better idea of how much space you have left to fill. If you can’t take the bookcase with you, you don’t want to reshuffle the deck.
Organize your stuff
Can you use it? It’s easy to convince yourself that someday you might still be wearing that 10-year-old shirt with the tag on it. But if you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably never will.
Also, get rid of the multiples. Do you have multiple coffee makers or sets of China? If you can only use one at a time, you don’t need to keep both.
When you categorize, follow a strict yes/no policy – no “maybe” allowed. Put the “yes” in a big pile and the “no” in a big pile and force yourself to choose. If you don’t believe something is worth saying yes to, say no. “Maybe” piling up just means you have more work to do later.
Decide how to allocate your “no” pile. You may no longer want or need these things, but they could be useful to someone else. Special items can be passed on to friends or family. Intact furniture, housewares, clothes and other items can be sold at garage sales or on sites like Craigslist. Or, you can choose to donate reusable items to organizations like Goodwill, which sometimes offer community or even residential pickup services to make your task a lot easier. Anything damaged or worn beyond repair should be thrown into the recycling bin or thrown into the trash.
3. Save memories
Digitize photos to save space and make them easy to share with family. Photo albums take up a lot of space. How often do you look through them? Grab the digital photo frame and view all your photos in a rotating slide show, or create a slide show screensaver for your TV or computer.
Take pictures of things that bring back fond memories, but you’ve run out of room for them. You can look back on those memories without having to keep those things.
To make sure these precious items are properly taken care of, pass them on to your children, grandchildren or close friends. They will love the gift, and you will love seeing the items used.
Another strategy is to give souvenirs new life. If you like making things by hand, things like old movie stubs, letters and photos are perfect for scrapbooking, allowing you to document your own experiences. Or make 3d art out of shadow boxes. Concentrating your memories in one place makes it easier to enjoy them.
Downsizing is an emotional process. You find things you haven’t seen in years, and you have to decide what to do with them. Give yourself some time to reflect before you make a decision. Remember that your space is limited. Bring something of real value — only you can decide what you can’t do without.
Imagine this: Once you have completed your move, you will be able to enjoy your new home being surrounded by the feeling of home.