Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Downsizing Made Easy

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Downsizing Made Easy

The big move is coming. You’ve been wanting a smaller place for awhile and now that you actually have one, it’s time to take the bull by the horns. By “bull” we mean your stuff, and by “horns” we mean, well, horns. You have some decisions to make and there’s not time to waiver. Now you need to focus and pack, toss or store your things. You are simplifying your life by downsizing so you might as well make it easier, right?

Start Now

The worst thing you can do is procrastinate. You’ll end up stressed out and arguing with your spouse about time and space. Breathe and start going through your belongings the day you make the choice to move. Give yourself a couple of hours a day. You’ll need to decide to keep, toss or store items. Life will be much easier making arrangements ahead of time. Find storage units in your new area so travel time is minimal. If you go from a two car garage to a one car, you will need to be sure the unit fits your extra vehicle. Necessary arrangements.


It’s not the first time you have made a move so you know how important it is to have an organized transition. If you need to keep all that fabric because you, being the seamstress you are, are planning on making your daughter’s first baby a receiving blanket, keep the fabric. But, organize your sewing materials so they are easy to find and move. Begin filling and labeling boxes — “den,” “kitchen appliances,” “Josh’s room” — so the movers can place the boxes in the appropriate new room at your new home.

Room to Room

Start at one side of the house and move through it room by room. Don’t get caught up in the confusion of jumping back and forth. Take boxes that read “toss,” “keep” and “donate” so you are completely clear on the decision and you can drop the item right where it should be for unpacking. Once you finish the room (yes, that says finish), then you can move on to the next. This is very important. If you get thrown off track, you may quit the process entirely and get lost in your own clutter.

The One Year Rule

This goes with quite a few items — if you haven’t used it in one year, toss it or donate it. You probably don’t need it. Listen, if you have the room, by all means, organize the things you don’t need and store them away. However, in a downsize, you have to remember how much happier you will be without the clutter. And, if it is broken and you have meant to fix it but haven’t…throw it away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ask for Help

You don’t have to do it all on your own. Your family and friends want to see you happy and stress-free. Guaranteed they are thrilled you are downsizing so you won’t have to worry as much about your yard and cleaning the house. You might be closer to transportation or other family members. Summons their creativity and advice (if you can take it) about what to keep.

Keep It

Look, it’s your life and your house. If there is something sentimental to you, keep it. Not a big deal. It’s just that everything can’t be sentimental. Assess your emotional levels and keep it, toss it or donate it.