October 14, 2020

Time to Downsize? Keep it Simple with Good Use

Time to Downsize? Keep it Simple with Good Use 

Whether you're renting your own apartment for the first time, a new empty-nester, or are trying to simplify your lifestyle by decreasing the amount of stuff you own, downsizing can be a bittersweet endeavor. Moving to a new phase of life is always exciting, but is sometimes easier said than done. After all, who looks forward to deciding what belongings are worth keeping and which ones it's time to bid farewell? No matter your reason for moving to a smaller home, thinning out your personal belongings doesn't have to be an overwhelming or stressful experience. Check out these simple tips to make your downsizing experience a breeze.

Make a List of What You Want to Keep

First and foremost, you should make a list of what you know for sure that you want to keep. While it may be tempting to list every item hanging in your closet, try to keep this list as concise as possible. It should consist of your most precious possessions, not just the belongings you'll use this month but maybe not the next -- there will be plenty of time to organize those things later. Think: the necklace your grandmother gave you, your favorite coffee mug, or the blanket you've held onto since childhood. Once you know what will be moving with you no matter what, you can divert your attention to your other belongings to determine what you truly need and want, and what you feel comfortable letting go.

Get the Ball Rolling in Advance

Nobody likes making important decisions under pressure. Instead of trying to race the clock to decide what should go and what can stay, give yourself the gift of time. Right when you decide to move start working through each room in your home, one by one. If it's weeks or even months in advance, having the chance to consider what household goods to pass on, and then find homes for the items you no longer use is a gift. You'll thank yourself when moving day comes and you aren't still trying to get rid of boxes of your old junk.

Consider the Size of Your Space

If one thing is for certain, it's that your new place will certainly be smaller than your current one when you downsize. Because of this, there's no question that you're going to have to let go of some of your belongings. You might not realize just how much stuff you own until it's time to move. The last thing you want is to move furniture and household goods with no place to go in your new home. To save yourself a bunch of time and inconvenience, be sure to measure the size of the space you're moving into, as well as the belongings that will go into it, especially furniture. If they're too big or won't have anywhere to go, you know it's time to find a new home for them. Don't forget to measure entryways, passages, and stairs as well. You have to be able to get your furniture into the new home, after all!

Start with the Easy Stuff

It's much easier to start with the items in your home that don't hold any sentimental value and work your way up to the things that do than vice versa. To get the ball rolling, begin by sorting through the things that will be easier to part with, such as items in your laundry room or kitchen. You'll be more inclined to give away extra cleaning supplies and Tupperware than gifts and mementos you've acquired over the year. Once you get in the habit of letting things go and feeling good about it, you won't feel so bad about parting with the items that you used to love but don't anymore.

Use Labels

Keeping your belongings organized during the moving process can make all the difference ensuring things go as smoothly as possible. As you sort through your belongings and determine which items you're keeping and which ones you plan to get rid of, be sure to label everything. Make things easy by designating a spot for everything you'd like to keep, another for things you can sell, another for those you plan to share with others, and another for items trash. Label each space in a clear way that's easy to see and separate from the other piles to help you visualize where everything belongs as you work through each room in your home.

Ask a Friend to Help

Sometimes, it helps to have a second opinion when sorting through your junk. If you have a lot of stuff or are having a hard time letting go of items that you've had for a long time, ask a friend to come over and give their objective opinion. Talking to another person through the sorting process can help you see what's truly worth holding onto. Your high school yearbooks? Absolutely. Two dozen water bottles? Probably not.

Avoid Throwing Things Away

After you've successfully decided what you'd like to keep, it can be tempting to throw away everything you're ready to part with and be done with it. But wait! Just because you haven't worn those shoes in years or there's a chip in that glass bowl doesn't mean that someone else won't appreciate them. If the item that you need to get rid of can still be used, don't put it in the trash. Instead, ask yourself if it's possible for it to be reused, recycled, or given to someone else. If the answer is "yes," it's time to download the Good Use app.

With Good Use, there's no reason to let your perfectly good belongings go to waste when you move to a smaller home. Good Use can help you find new homes for the things you once loved but no longer need quickly and conveniently. By getting started early, prioritizing what you'd like to keep, asking a friend for help, and sharing the belongings you're ready to part with on Good Use, you may be surprised by how easy downsizing can be.