Downsizing can be a scary task, especially when the decision to do so is forced upon you due to circumstances beyond your control. But downsizing can be a good thing and can affect your life in a very positive way.
Whether you are downsizing because of a move to a smaller space or simply to make your life more organized and less cluttered, these 5 steps can help you do so with less stress. Not all of these steps apply to everyone so feel free to skip the ones that don’t apply to your situation.
5 Simple Steps to Downsizing
1. Find a smaller home.
One of the biggest reasons for downsizing is having or choosing to move to a smaller home. The tiny house movement is huge so downsizing is important. Going from a 2500 sq. ft. home to a 500 sq.ft. home can be chaos when you try to fit everything you own. Downsizing relieves that stress for you and can make the move much easier.
When searching for a new home make yourself a list of what is important to have in your smaller home. I mean the necessities here, then look for a home to accommodate those priorities. Keep in mind storage space and the number of people that will be in the home and make sure the size accommodates everyone even after downsizing.
Everything you have that is most useful, helpful or needed you take. The frivolous, extra possessions can be disposed of by donating or selling them. This process takes time and can be hard if you are on the brink of hoarding like I was. Just take your time and try to be realistic.
2. Sort your clothing.
Being a woman, I love clothes, shoes, and purses. Moving into a tiny house on a homestead instead of a large house in suburbia quickly made me realize that I wasn’t going to need 30 pairs of high heels or 17 purses.
I gave most of my dresses, shoes, and purses to charity and drastically reduced the space I needed in my new home.
Another way of downsizing your clothing is by season. I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida so all of my winter clothes were useless. I kept a few sweaters and hoodies but donated what I definitely wouldn’t need. A winter coat, for example, was useless in Florida.
Downsizing is also a good time to get rid of those articles of clothing you never really wear also. Doing these things for all members of the family will drastically reduce and downsize your belongings and quite quickly.
3. Sort your storage.
Attics, basements, and storage units are the three biggest culprits of saving stuff. We tend to box up all the things that we want but don’t need or use.
Now is the time to sort these areas. Keep to the rule of thumb that if you haven’t used it in over a years time, you probably never will. Start sorting those boxes.
Keep in mind 3 things when deciding whether or not to keep something:
- Will I have room for it in my new home?
- Will I really use this often enough to keep it?
- Do I really need it?
I love Christmas and I go all out to decorate but I had over 20 totes of decorations. I kept what I really wanted and gave my children the rest of it for their homes. I’m down to 3 totes now.
4. Sort your tools and equipment.
This was the hardest area for me to downsize, especially with starting a new homestead. I wasn’t really sure what I would need and what I wouldn’t. Tools and equipment are both so important on a homestead, especially if you are just starting out. See my Top Tools for the Homestead post for more information on what you will need at the least.
I settled on keeping the most necessary tools and selling the extras. I kept one complete set of screwdrivers, drill bits, wrenches, etc… and 1 of each larger tools like circular saws, chain saws, and drills.
Garden tools were a little easier because I pretty much kept them all. Rakes, shovels, and hoes are all important when starting a homestead.
One suggestion I would make is to keep one, maybe two, of each tool. Jars of screws, nuts, bolts and etc. were all kept also. Just consider what you are going to use and won’t have to buy when sorting tools and equipment.
Downsizing is a great way to make the move to a smaller house less stressful and more organized. You will be able to clean less having less stuff to clean. The best part about downsizing is having more room to breathe which helps you enjoy your living space more. Check out this site for a complete Downsizing 101!