When you're downsizing, you need to get rid of a lot of your belongings. You simply won't have enough space in your new, smaller home, so it makes sense not to move everything from your old house. Otherwise you'll find yourself desperately trying to find a space to store everything, and end up cramming any storage space with boxes. Try these tips when you're downsizing …
1 Don't Store Your Belongings
It may be tempting to put some of your belongings in storage when you're downsizing, especially larger pieces of furniture. But chances are you'll end up leaving everything just where it is, rather than moving it later. So you'll be paying storage fees for things that you're not going to use. Only store items that you know you will definitely use later and don't have space for.
2 Break with the past
This is a good opportunity to get rid of mementos of the past that you don't really need, such as gifts from an old boyfriend. Anything that brings to mind unhappy memories should definitely go. Make your new home the place for a new start, and leave the past behind you.
3 Clear out for Charity
Charities will be only too happy to take any books, clothes or other saleable goods that you clear out (I once filled a car with unwanted books and other items, although they weren't just mine!). Anything that you don't want that isn't in good condition should be put in the trash, or recycled wherever possible. Any worn out towels, sheets or clothing could be donated to your local animal shelter for use as bedding.
4 New Home for Old Things
Anything that you decide to get rid of can also be offered to friends or put on Freecycle. You'd be surprised what other people can make use of. It's a good way to get rid of things that aren't good enough to sell or donate to a thrift store, or help people out who can't afford to buy items. But don't force your family or friends to take anything!
5 Be Ruthless
Don't throw out anything you think you might truly regret discarding. But otherwise be pretty ruthless. If you don't need it, use it or love it then you may as well get rid of it. Throw out anything that's broken, that you never use, that doesn't fit you or that you don't really like. If you have a lot of books, donate as many as you can bear to part with - don't hang on to anything that you'll never read again.
6 Changing Needs
Instead of automatically packing up everything, think about how your needs have changed or will be changing. Would your spare room be better with a sofa-bed rather than a bed? Have your children grown out of clothing? Do you watch movies on Netflix rather than on DVD? Assessing your true needs will help you decide what you should dispose of.
7 Just in Case …
When you move, do you pack up things just in case you might use them? Do you hang on to a tent, when you've long since gone off camping, or keep books in case you read them some day? If you haven't used things in a long time, you probably won't use them again.
It can actually be very therapeutic to get rid of a large part of your belongings - you realise how little you really need. So be ruthless, and only hang on to possessions that you truly value. Is there anything you wish you hadn't thrown away?