Everyone at some point in life faces a dramatic change of space: downsizing. For some, it is a prospect they encounter every time a spouse’s job relocates. For others, it occurs after the departure of children or the death of a spouse.
No matter what the reason, downsizing happens. The process of getting rid of household items can be difficult and emotionally challenging. It takes courage to downsize, but with a roadmap, the journey can be easier.
Let’s begin with the key rule of downsizing: Take with you what you need and use, and what is beautiful, and what will fit well. Keep this rule in your mind as you walk through the downsizing process.
Start with the easy things! Choose a place in your home (the NO GO AREA) to begin consigning items you know you won’t be taking with you. Do you have a book you’ve been meaning to pass on? Put it here. Do you have pens, pencils, or kitchen utensils you know you don’t need? This is the spot for them. Remove those things with hardly a thought, almost a laugh.
Next, assign other items to similar divisions, the MIGHT GO AREA and the IT IS GOING AREA. Evaluate the items in your home based on these categories, and physically sort them as you evaluate.
Always remember the key rule of downsizing as you sort. Use it as you evaluate which category each item belongs in. Do you want a simpler life? Embrace it by simplifying your possessions.
As you sort your items, you might wonder what you’re going to do with the things in the NO GO AREA, and perhaps in the MIGHT GO AREA.
Think of blessing others with these things. Start with your family and friends. Ask them if they want any of these items. For example, maybe your nephew is moving away to college and could use the extra set of twin sheets you no longer need. By gifting items to family or friends, you know where they are going and that they will be used well.
After that, donate items to charity. These days, many women’s shelters need items for women beginning anew. Remember that someone else will benefit from the use of your things; your possessions could be a significant blessing for a struggling young person or someone starting over.
Go through the donating process regularly so that items do not build up in your NO GO AREA. This will save you clutter and hassle.
Sorting and donating items will start you on the road of downsizing. Always keep in mind your goals: the place you’re moving to or desire your home to be, and the desire for simplicity in moving and in making your new space.
Don’t forget to take with you what you need and use, and what is beautiful, and what will fit well. You will be well on your way to easing the task of downsizing your life.