There comes a time in many people’s lives when downsizing is their next life step. Not to be confused with decluttering, downsizing means moving to a new place with less space than your current abode. This in turn means deciding what to keep on hand, what gets discarded, what gets sold and what goes to storage.
Downsizing can be a very exciting time. Here are some ideas on how to approach it to make it easy to part with personal possessions that you’ve become used to having around.
Would you replace it?
The place to start is taking stock of everything you own and ask yourself what would you replace if everything was lost in a fire or flood? Make three lists: ”must haves”, “can live withouts”, and things for storage.
Those items you want to store things you don’t need now, but they may be useful down the road. Things like furniture to pass on to the kids once they have places of their own, or family items that should be kept to pass down at some point in the future. For those items that are essential, sentimental, or extremely valuable and you don’t have room for them, then a storage space is a great option.
Your “must haves” obviously come with you. Your “can-live-withouts” are the things you could sell, donate to charity, or pass along to family or friends. Your storage list is reserved for things that you want to keep, but not necessarily take with you.
Overall, think of your downsizing as an opportunity to do something new and live a lighter life with a lighter load instead of spending more money shoehorning the things you have into a smaller space.
Now that you’ve downsized, be smart about what enters your new smaller space
Finally, once you’ve managed to move into a smaller space and you’ve trimmed your possessions down to the things that actually matter to you, adopt a fairly strict approach to what comes into your home. Space is at a premium, and an “organized” small space can become a “cluttered” small space without much time or effort. Make sure that everything you bring in, everything you buy or order online, is something you can store with the space you have now and something you really want or need. And try to avoid the ‘just in case’ mentality. Getting things to have on hand just in case… like 40 wine glasses just in case you throw a huge party.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a hassle — it may sound like it because parting with the things you own can definitely be emotional. But that is great thing about portable storage. It gives you a safe home for those things that no longer have a day-to-day role in your home, but should be kept with an eye to the future.