Downsizing and “Breaking up” with your Belongings

No time to be sentimental,be ruthless. 

As the population ages,more and more baby boomers are opting for the convenience and modern amenities of condo living.The explosion of condos under construction across Halifax and Dartmouth satisfies the need for this growing trend.One of the obstacles of downsizing is letting go of all that clutter collected over the years.Many homeowners are sentimentally attached to their “stuff” and this often gets in the way of the de cluttereing and downsizing process.

When deciding what to keep and what to let go there are some simple questions you need to ask yourself.

  • What would you take with you in the event of a fire? This is a great way to determine what you really value.Storing treasured items in an easy to reach container you can grab at a moments notice will ensure you will not lose your most important items.
  • Decide what in your home has purpose and what doesn’t.Ask yourself why you are holding on to an item that has no specific use and decide if the space it is taking up is worth it.
  • Things that you are hoping to use or wear “someday” will free up much needed storage in your new home.Chances are “someday” will come and you won’t need or like the item anymore.
  • Last thing to consider is does the item make you happy.We all have those small items that have special meaning so choose only the things that make you smile.

Recycle,reuse,sell & donate is your mission.

Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before your move.Take some time each day to go through closets and filing cabinets etc.Paper seems to be the area that often needs the most attention.Have a shredder and lots of blue bags on hand to steamline the process.Tackle it one drawer or box at a time,filing in the appropriate spot as you go.Get a feel for the size of the rooms in your new space.If your present bedroom is roughly the size of your new living room or den measure your furnishings to plan what you can comfortably fit in your spot without overcluttering.This can sometimes be a reality check when you realize not all of your existing pieces will fit in your new home.

Areas with items that have no sentimental value such as the kitchen should be heavily edited.Most people don’t need ten mixing bowls and won’t get sentimental over parting with that spatula that has seen better days or the mountain of plastic containers that fall out of the cupboard every time you open it.If you are downsizing from a house to a condo the garage is an area where you can pretty much purge everything.Snow shovels,lawn mowers,gardening tools etc can all go,you won’t need them.

Try to avoid throwing anything in the garbage by being environmentally responsible and find a home for everything.Womans shelters always welcome donations.Lightly used items of bedding,household appliances,china, clothing,books and cd’s can all be put to use by various organizations.Try to be ruthless and a good rule of thumb is anything that has not been used in a year will not be missed.The internet or consignment shops are also good locations to drop off your items and make some money to put towards your new home.

By adopting a one of everything rule rather than keeping several sets of china or multiple baking trays etc you will streamline and simplify your newlife.Say goodbye snowshovel and enjoy!