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Planning on Downsizing? Here Are a Few Helpful Tips on How to Get Started

Are you planning on downsizing your home but not too sure where to start? No matter the reason, it often makes financial sense to downsize your home by finding a smaller and more economical place to live in. lucky for you, we have some helpful tips and tricks that will make downsizing a breeze.

Take stock of what you have

Perhaps the most laborious part of downsizing but a definite must, is taking stock of what you have whether it be on paper or online. Even though this seems like a really difficult task, making a thorough list of your belongings will help you in the long run. Try to divide your inventory document up into portions such as “Kitchen”, “Bathroom”, “Master Bedroom”, etc as this will help you to easily scan through each room and know exactly where each item listed will be going. Making a document listing your possessions will also help you keep track of any doubles (or triples) of a specific product and make donating or selling them a breeze.

Follow the one year rule

A rule as old as time itself yet hardly ever followed - the one year rule is a great place to start when you are sorting out your possessions and deciding on what to take with you as you begin your new, downscaled life. This is a great place to start if you are not sure how to begin sorting out what you need to keep and what you need to toss. Begin by making two big piles, one with items you have used in the past year and one with items which you have not used. This rule can be extended to your clothing, makeup, garage tools and even your kid’s toys if the need be. By diving everything into two piles, you will more than likely have a clearer idea on how to go forward with sorting out your belongings. Once you have your two piles (we suggest going room by room to minimize stress), go through each pile and further divide them up into keep, store and donate. Naturally, there will be items that you have not used in the past year but which you definitely will use again (like your suitcases since you might not have been able to travel this past year) so while you need to be strict, be realistic and don’t feel like you need to get rid of everything that hasn’t been used.

Donate and relocate

If you are moving to a new, smaller space or simply just minimizing what you already have at home then try to envision the new space (or better yet, take pictures of each room) and on paper, draw what you want the space to look like - complete with furniture, plants and ornaments. Once you have made a list of the furniture you want in every room, you should have a clear idea of the furniture, ornaments and excess items that are not on your list. This should give you an indication of the kinds of things you need to donate or keep in storage for future use.

Make some extra cash

If there are a few pieces of furniture, appliances or homeware items that are in good shape and which you need to get rid of, then why not sell them? This not only helps you make some extra money which could be used to spruce up your new place but will prevent you from throwing away any pre-loved items that could have found a happier home somewhere else.

Keep the momentum going

Once you are settled into your new place or you start shopping for a few things that you really need, try to make a new rule where once you buy a new product, you get rid of something else that you no longer use. This way, you will minimize the risk of clutter, hoarding and getting extra’s of things that you don’t even need or use often.

This is also a good rule to enforce for kids who get bored with their toys and by donating something that they no longer play with, they will learn to share and limit waste.

Naturally, you can’t be expected to give away everything that doesn’t fit into your new, smaller home so why not hire a storage unit to suit your needs from Rent-a-Store? Have a look at our website for more information on our various storage solutions.

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