Are any of you out there thinking of downsizing? Spring is here and you may be ready for some change. Whether you’re consolidating your own things, moving to a smaller place, or planning to help your parents downsize, here are some tips to help make the purging process a bit more manageable.
First and foremost, find out the measurements of your new space. While it sounds nice to keep all of your belongings, you likely won’t be able to fit everything in a space that’s half the size. Take only what you love and absolutely need in your new digs, and let go of the rest.
So, here’s what to do with…
- Photography and memorabilia
Unsure of what to do with all of your excess photos? We love the idea of digitizing your precious memories so they can be viewed on your devices for generations to come. It is also the best way to have the memories preserved in case of fire or flood. Check out Everpresent to see the magic they can create.
- Unwanted gifts
We all have gifts from friends and family that may not suit us, but we nonetheless feel obligated to keep them. If you’re having trouble parting with these items, try to remove the emotional connection and determine if they are serving their purpose or just taking up space. Also, ask yourself if the gift giver would want you to struggle to find a place to keep these things. Most of the time the answer is no.
- Extra linens
When downsizing, your bed count is drastically reduced. Wondering what to do with all of your extra linens? Donate them to your local animal shelter. They love using the textiles to stuff animal beds or use towels to dry off dogs after a bath.
People often come across valuable heirlooms they no longer want to keep, but feel they are worth too much money to donate. If this is the case, check out auction houses to determine the value of certain items and whether or not you want to sell them. Some auction houses can tell you if it’s worth coming out to take a look just by looking at a picture, so ask them. Keep in mind that your fine china might be worth much less than it once was.
- Miscellaneous items
Donating to a local charity is always a good idea, but if you find that you have some random objects or appliances that local charities might not take, check out Craigslist or Freecycle. Freecycle is a free, easy app that can allow you to advertise your item that you’re giving away for free. It’s a great way to find your belongings new homes.
- Greeting cards
While always welcomed throughout the year, greeting cards served their purpose for the occasion, and now it’s time for them to go. Stick them in the recycling bin and take photos of the ones that you’re having trouble parting with.
Your local library has never been so lucky! Be merciless on your book collection and consider which ones you plan to either read again or have given your life significant meaning. Give away the ones to which you’re less attached so someone else can enjoy them. Besides your local library, More Than Words is another one of our favorites, or find a Big Hearted Books bin in a parking lot near you.
- Your kids’ stuff
At this point, your kids may have been living out of the house for years. If there are still things left in their rooms, give them a clear deadline to go through and clear out these items. After that deadline, feel free to recycle, donate, or dispose of whatever is left. Keep in mind, everything they’ve needed all these years has been kept with them.
Do these lines sound familiar? “But I spent a lot of money on it!” or “Maybe I’ll fit into it someday!” I hear it all the time, and sometimes I even say these things myself. If you haven’t worn it in years, don’t bother lugging it to your next place. Besides, the cost of moving it may equal that of replacing it with something more suitable in the future. Recognize that it has served its purpose and donate it.
- Cords, paint, and hardware
Trying to match plugs with their corresponding appliances can be a nuisance, and there are always extra ones. You can always recycle them. Our favorite electronics recycling drop off is Replay’d. The same goes with all of your old paints, nails, bits, and screws. Sort through your home repair items and purge what you haven’t used in years. Your old paint may have dried up, and you probably want to update your new home anyway. Now is the time to start fresh and create a clutter-free space.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to tackle your space (one area at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed!) and identify where everything is going to go. We recommend using these multi-colored sticker dots to distinguish between keep, donate, and trash. You can always call us if you need extra help.