There are many reasons why people are downsizing their possessions, and many of them involve major life transitions. Marriage, combining households, moving, having children, sending a child to college, or modifying a home to better meet the needs of an aging adult, are all reasons for downsizing.
Because these life transitions come with their own set of psychological complexities, having to simultaneously get rid of personal possessions can really add to the emotional whirlwind. Whether you’re doing it alone or have the help of friends and family, letting go of your belongings is downright distressing. You don’t, however, have to lose your sanity in the process. These five tips will help you ditch the excess while keeping your cool.
5 Ways to Stay Sane While Downsizing
Sort Your Stuff
Make three piles: Keep, Donate/Sell and Trash. You can also have a “Thinking About It” pile. You’ll soon discover that once you get into the momentum of decluttering, the decision making process becomes much easier.
If you’re downsizing a lifetime of belongings, you will come into contact with things that serve no purpose, other than sentimental value. Even though, they’ve been in a box for several years, these can be the hardest things to let go. Taking photos of and creating a scrapbook, or digital album can be a great way to preserve the memory of the items without continuing to store them.
If you’re moving, where will this item fit in your new space? Why have you been holding on to it? Could a family or friend use it? Most importantly, does it serve a purpose, bring you joy or add beauty to your home? If you’re having a tough time letting go, keep a journal. Note each item, and answer these questions. Sleep on it. You may find you feel differently after taking the time to really think through the value you place on a particular item.
There can be a tendency to want to get the process done as quickly as possible, but don’t rush into any decisions. Take the time to reminisce and to discuss plans with family members, so you can feel good about your decision to get rid of something.
Consider hiring a Professional Organizer, especially if the above suggestions seem overwhelming. The Can the Clutter team can help you with numerous tasks related to downsizing, including maintaining organization. We can help with the sort and discard process. We can help get your home ready for the market, and we can even assist with the packing and unpacking of your possessions.
Organizing is all about finding serenity in your space, and that looks differently for every individual and family. Downsizing doesn’t have to be stressful. Following these guidelines and getting help when needed will get you on the right path to finding peace and satisfaction in your decisions to let go.