The Up Side of Downsizing
Do you think downsizing means you have reached a certain stage of your life and now have to wave goodbye to the home you've lived in in for 20 years, the friends you've made, and all the stuff you've lovingly collected? Absolutely not, downsizing is not the end of something; rather it is the beginning of a new way to approach your life! It is an opportunity to step back, take stock, and focus less on ‘the accumulation of things’ and more on living a freedom-filled life. It means that you are consciously choosing to take control of the "stuff" in your life, choosing to keep only the things you really need, use and cherish the most. As a reward, you will need less space, and will have more time to spend on what really matters to you. It’s an EXCITING and FRESH START!
Top Ten Tips To Get You Started
Take measurements, don't guess. If you are moving to a new home, get the exact dimensions of each room of your new space, and then measure your furniture. You'll quickly see what will and won’t fit.
Make a list of all the things you do NOT plan to bring with you to your new home. This will make it easier to decide which of these items you will sell by auction/estate sale/garage sale, and donate or give to family/friends. If you have children, it will also give them an opportunity to take things they might want. Lay out items and keepsakes that you no longer ‘need’ and invite loved ones to pick what they like. Know that your treasures are going to people who will love and appreciate them.
Use a system. Whether it's putting colour-coded stickers on items as you decide where they go, creating lists or a spreadsheet, decide what system works best for you and use it. Have packing supplies, boxes and bags on hand and pack room-by-room labelling boxes as you go.
Start with the easy stuff. Regardless of why you are moving, it can be an emotional experience. Certain areas and items may generate more emotion than others, so start with less sentimental rooms (like the laundry room or bathroom) and work your way up to those more memory-laden ones. Take photos of those treasured items you really want to remember. This will allow you to look back and reminisce, without having to keep everything.
Be honest with yourself. We've all done it - moved boxes from home to home without ever opening them! Ask yourself honestly, when was the last time you used this item? Will it really fit in with your new home and lifestyle? Can this item or piece of furniture save space by serving two functions? Is it beautiful, useful, functional and loved? Or are you just keeping it out of habit?
Ask an organized friend to help. Downsizing decisions can be tiring or overwhelming. Invite the most organized friend you have to come over and help. Sharing your memories with a friend as you make choices can minimize the stress of this process.
Hire a Professional Organizer
. There are people who do this for a living! Some Professional Organizers even specialize in helping people move and downsize. “Professional Organizers in Canada” (www.organizersincanada.com
) is a good resource to find one in your area. Professional Organizers can be more effective than friends and family because they are third party professionals who are objective…and organized!!
Talk to a moving company. They will likely have advice to assist you in making good decisions. A mover is a valued resource that can approximate the transportation cost of each individual item.
Commit to a schedule. The sooner you start, the better. Try setting a schedule and working for a couple of hours at a time. Try not to overwhelm yourself by pushing too hard or doing too much.
Focus on the reward. There are good reasons you have decided to downsize. Remember the goal is to simplify your life, not rob you of your memories.
Compliments of Angela Irvine, Professional Organizer
If you would like more information on downsizing, feel free to contact Angela at: 613-612-2570 or