If you are thinking about downsizing to a smaller home, now is a great time to get a head start on the decluttering process to prepare your house for market. Here are some helpful tips…
Set up a station with four boxes – donate, share, shred and trash.
- If you’ve been thinking about downsizing for a while, your “donate” and “trash” lists are probably growing by the day. But remember, even though some documents are no longer important to you, they can still contain sensitive information that needs to be shredded.
Start with the rooms you use the least.
- Clear out that room first and you’ve set a vision and a foundation for how you want the rest of your home to feel.
- Once you’ve completed this area, you will have an out-of-the-way space to set up your “four boxes.” This step can keep your decluttering process out of your way, especially if you are downsizing over a long period of time.
- That room might be a mess for a while, but once your unnecessary items are gone, you’ll feel so free!
The more you give away, the less there is to move. Ask yourself- “when is the last time I used this?”
- Have you not used it at all in the past year? Donate it or pass it along to someone who will use it.
- For clothing, try this little tip. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I ran into an old boyfriend/girlfriend wearing this outfit?” If you don’t feel confident or spunky, then let it go!
- If you can’t foresee yourself using an item or enjoying it in the very near future, then it’s just taking up space and you don’t need to feel guilty about letting it go.
Start sorting through tax records and other financial records.
- Have you been storing all those financial documents just in case you might need them some day?
- Downsizing gives you the perfect opportunity and motivation to cut down on the paper in your home office. Just remember anything with personal information needs to be shredded.
- Don’t have a shredder? Check into community shredding events or go to a business that will shred your documents while you watch.
- Check with your accountant or other authority to determine how long you should keep records.
Even if you don’t plan to downsize and move for 6 months or more, you’ll be surprised by how good it feels to eliminate some of the clutter in your home.