Let the Design 55 team guide you towards a more simplified lifestyle
1. Set Modest Goals
Start small: a room, a closet, a shelf, a drawer, or a part of the basement. Begin in the areas of the house that you are currently not using. Start the sorting and clearing process in these rooms, because it will be least disruptive to your everyday life.
2. Create a Floor Plan for Your New Home
Most likely you will need to scale down the number of belongings you take to your new home. You will need to compare the size of your new home with your current home and visualize where your possessions will go. If space forces you to choose between some loved items, the decision will be easier for you to see with a floor plan on paper. Remember to make space for the things you love.
3. Begin Step-by-Step
For many people, starting the sorting and decision-making process is a daunting process. Make sure you approach it step-by-step, pile-by-pile until the job is finished. Start working in a specific room in your house or even a specific area of a room like a closet or a drawer. Begin somewhere, but begin.
4. Ask the Tough Questions
It's easier to get rid of belongings from rooms that are mostly used for storage, such as an attic or basement. There is less sentimental attachment to items that are simply being stored rather than used. Be realistic.
· When was the last time I used this?
· If I do use it, how often and why? What purpose does it serve?
· Is the item in good shape and easy to care for?
· Can I get by without it? Do I own another item that can serve the same purpose as this one?
· Is this item something I love? Does it have sentimental value?
· Could someone else benefit more from its use?
5. Organize into Categories
Decide what is still truly important for you to keep and what you are ready to let someone else enjoy. Create a sorting system before you begin.
· Household items to keep
· Items to give to family and friends
· Items to sell
· Stuff to donate to a favorite charity
· Broken items and stuff to toss
· Items for storage
· Things for the “maybe” pile---things I can’t decide about now and I need more time to think about
6. Take What You Love
Downsizing can be difficult. It helps to focus on the things in your home that have meaning for you, even if you have not used them in a while. Write a list of all the items you love and can’t live without. Keep what is most important to you and you will not be upset about the things that you can no longer keep.
7. Take Your Time
Sorting is exhausting. It will take a lot of time to go through all of your possessions, especially if you've lived in your home for many years. Plan to spend a few hours at a time working through the sorting process. This is not a task that you can do for long periods of time at any age. Make it a leisurely process for several months before your move and you'll not only feel more prepared but more relaxed about your move as well. Give yourself time to work through it. If you're tired, rest. Take a break. Go for a walk.
8. Making it Easier to Let Go
Sorting is as much about sorting through a lifetime of memories as it is about possessions. Don't expect to pack up those framed portraits of your parents and grandparents without shedding a tear! Belongings all contain memories, so take the time to reflect. Start a sentimental pile of possessions to pass on to family members. It will make you feel better to know that the family heirlooms are still around - just not under your roof.
9. Decision Making, Round Two
Remember the 80/20 principle. Most people use only 20% of what they have. The other 80% is just taking up space. After deciding what you “absolutely must keep,” give yourself a one-week break and go back through your possessions another time with a more critical eye. Once you get used to the idea of parting with certain belongings, it may be easier to make a final decision the second time around.
10. Call in the Pros!
If the last thing you want to do is add stress to your already busy “to-do” list, call in the Pros! The Design 55 team manages the stress to make the transition easier for you and your family. Call us at 904-826-7055 for a no-obligation home consultation.
Visit us at www.designfifty-five.com