Simplify Your Downsizing Project with These Five Tips

Posted on: April 21, 2022

Downsizing can seem like a daunting task. It’s the dreaded “D” word people wish to avoid and often put off for as long as they can. And it can feel overwhelming ― it may be hard to know where to begin and how to create a plan.

If you’re thinking about downsizing, rest assured that there are many downsizing resources available, from helpful hints to helping hands. Whether you’re thinking of getting started or need some tips to stay on track, here are five ways to simplify downsizing.  

Downsizing Tip #1: Break it Down

Trying to tackle the whole house when downsizing can feel overwhelming. It’s a good idea to break things down into smaller tasks that are easier to accomplish.  

Start with a drawer, then a closet, then a room, and so on until the job is complete. Breaking it down into smaller tasks will keep you motivated and feeling accomplished all the way through.

To make sure you stick to working toward your goals, set an appointment on your calendar. Just as you would for a doctor’s appointment or meeting a friend for lunch, setting aside time allows you to plan ahead and stick with it.

Read More: The First 3 Places to Start When Downsizing Your Home >>

Downsizing Tip #2: Make Three Piles

boxes to keep items and to donate and declutter items

As you go through your items, decide if the item is one you will a) keep, b) donate, give away, sell, or c) throw away. This sounds straightforward, yet as you’re going through your belongings it’s hard to distinguish what goes where. It’s helpful to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  1. Has this item been used in the past year?

  2. Does this item still fit my lifestyle?

  3. Do I need this item?

  4. Will I think about this item once it’s gone?

If the answer to all of these questions is “no,” you’re probably ready to find another home for that item.

Get 10 Easy Tips for Decluttering and Downsizing Your Home >>

Downsizing Tip #3: Create a System

A labeling system helps to easily identify which items are being kept, donated, given away, or sold.

Many people use color-coded sticky dots to categorize their items; for example, red=keep, blue=donate, yellow=give away, green=sell. There are many ways to customize and create your own system, so find what makes sense to you.

Clear the Clutter With These Expert Downsizing Tips for Seniors >>

Downsizing Tip #4: Ask for Help

Downsizing can feel much less daunting when you have additional hands on deck. Don’t be afraid to contact a professional to help you get started and stay on track. They’re experts who know the strategies that work best and can offer camaraderie and support.

Additionally, they can do the heavy lifting for you and know who to call if you want to make a donation or arrange an estate sale.

Downsizing Tip #5: Stay Positive

Downsizing is hard work. Keep smiling and thinking positively, and tell yourself that you can get through this! The joy and relief that you’ll feel will outshine the struggles.

Once you’ve narrowed down your belongings to just the items that you truly cherish and use, you’ll feel liberated and be able to think and live with more clarity.

The hardest part of downsizing can be knowing where to start and how to stay on track. Before you begin, and throughout the process, remind yourself of why you’re doing it and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel once it’s complete.  

Thinking About Downsizing?

Does downsizing seem like the right option for you, but you’re not sure how to get started? View our free guide to learn how to break down the process into four steps that cover the physical and emotional parts of downsizing.

Free Guide: How to Downsize Your Home