In 2018 we downsized from a 4800+ square foot house to a <1000 square foot house. We had lived in that big house about 12 years, and raised 2 kids in it. It had a lot of memories, and a lot of stuff – junk in some cases.
We did this downsizing effort in a few months. We did it in stages – first to begin decluttering – then getting the house ready to get on the market, then to get out for the new owners, and finally to move to Florida. We learned a lot along the way, so I wanted to pass long some tips and trips we learned along the way.
Tip #1: Start now. It is never too early to start. We had literally moved some of the same boxes between 3 previous houses that we owned. We paid for storage space to store these same boxes while our last two houses were being built. Every little bit of decluttering helps.
Tip #2: It takes longer than you think. An example is old paperwork. We destroyed and disposed of 98% of our old paperwork. It took countless hours to go through it however, even though it was (in most cases) somewhat organized. Who needs tax returns from 15 years ago? We didn’t but we still had them. It will take multiple passes.
Tip #3: Learn some new skills. Take the time to learn some new skills. A book that I highly recommend is: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. I believe that she now has a series on Netflix as well. Other skills will likely include how to properly dispose of sensitive information and learning to effectively sell/donate the things you no longer want.
Tip #4: Categories. Establish categories for your things as you declutter. We used: Keep, Donate, Sell, Family.
Tip #5: It will get overwhelming at times. It will seem to never end, or that you will never get it done in time, or the emotional aspects of releasing your things will get to you. Just remember the end goal and keep plugging away. Take breaks from it when you can.
Tip #6: Start now. It bears repeating. It will take much longer than you think it will, and will require multiples times on the same items.
Thanks for stopping by – safe travels!!