4 Easy Steps to Downsize Your Life

shutterstock_191926418So, you’ve seen the tiny homes being shared on Pinterest and Facebook. These little homes that promise a life of simplicity and ease have caught your attention. You think, “Yes! I want to buck convention and focus on what’s really important! I don’t need a big home and big mortgage.” But then, you immediately think, “What am I going to do with all my stuff!?” Don’t worry. Downsizing isn’t as scary, painful or impossible as you think. Here are four steps to follow that will make downsizing a snap.

1) Get Real About Your Actual Needs. Downsizing doesn’t mean getting rid of your beloved possessions. Downsizing is about getting rid of the extra clutter that you don’t really need or want. Anything you haven’t used it in a year should automatically go. If you use an item occasionally but know you could live without it, let it go. I’m sure there are a number of things around your house that you are planning on getting around to someday. Someday is not a day of the week, people. Releasing these items will make room for things you really love and use.

Having never used something is not a good reason to hold onto it. Even if it cost a lot of money. Let. It. Go. We’ve all bought an ab-roller, or some equivalent, in our lives. Making bad shopping decisions is a part of being human. Forgive yourself and toss the crap.

2) Get Rid of the Useless, Ugly, and Unwanted. The key to making your downsizing process effective is to go through everything and ask, “Is it useful? Is in beautiful? Does it make me happy?” If you are answering no to two out of those three questions, that item has not earned a spot in your future home.

Some stuff has sentimental value. It’s ok to hang on to treasured keepsakes, but try to pare it down. Keep one item to remind you of the one memory, instead of hanging onto all of the memorabilia that can clutter your home.

3) Get Organized. By grouping like items you may realize it’s time to get rid of even more stuff. Do you really need 3 different ways to strain noodles? I’m going to say no. No, you don’t.

Organizing like items gives you the opportunity to see where you have too much of something. Do you have 600 pens? Do you keep buying pens every time you see them on super-sale, thinking, well, we always need pens? Time to adjust that habit.

4) Sell, Donate, Trash. You need three piles, bags or boxes to sort all items that didn’t make the cut. You can consign, eBay or have a garage sale for anything in good shape. Donate to charity items that don’t sell. Throw away anything that is broken beyond repair or just too worn out.