People are relocating to smaller quarters left and right. Whether they want less space to take care of, to join the tiny house movement, give up yard work or they want to move in with their significant other, downsizing has become trendy. When you’ve spent years filling up a 2,000 square foot house with your belongings, how do you pare it down so you can move into a smaller place? What do you do with the treasures you’ve gathered over the years?
We did some research and discovered some fairly painless ways to make yourself a little more portable.
1. Clean out Every Cupboard, Cabinet, Drawer and Closet: Remove all the stuff inside and then only replace the items you absolutely need. If you can’t identify an object, as in “what is this for,” then don’t keep it. Divide everything you didn’t put back into “toss,” “donate” and “sell” boxes.
2. Rummage through Storage Areas: You’ll quickly find you haven’t seen most of those boxes since you moved into your current home and you certainly haven’t used the contents. If you’re like me, you may have bought some of the items again. Separate these articles into the above categories (toss, donate and sell).
3. Decide What You Want to Replace: Look at all your furniture piece by piece. Get rid of anything that’s too large to fit into your new abode. Then buy something smaller. Or better yet, shop for multipurpose furniture that does the work of at least two pieces. An ottoman with storage, a sofa bed or a butcher block that you can dine on all make more sense than single-purpose furnishings when you live in a tiny space.
4. Ask for a Friend’s Opinion: When it comes to possessions with sentimental value, the decisions become tougher. Phone a friend and ask for his or her help in deciding what should go with you. These friends tend to make more brutal choices than you would.
5. Trim down Room by Room: Don’t attack the entire house all at once. Take it one room at a time so you can thoughtfully make your decisions. You’ll get frustrated and anxious if you take on too much at once.
6. Reduce the Memorabilia: Have your most precious photos digitized by a service so they take up less room, but still offer the same enjoyment.
7. Invoke the First Rule of Clutter: Any item that hasn’t been used, worn or looked at within the last year stays behind.
8. Sell Everything You Can: During warm weather months hold a yard sale. Post large items and art on Craigslist or eBay. Take your best clothing to a consignment shop. With the money from your sales, buy a new furniture piece or décor items. What you can’t sell, donate to a charitable organization in return for a receipt you can use for tax purposes.
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