(An article of Jackie Waters)

Everyone knows how it feels to be burdened by an excess of stuff, especially if you’re
considering moving out of a large home and into a smaller, more manageable abode. Once you’ve done your diligence in determining how much you can afford to spend on a new home, it’s time to look at what, exactly, needs to be downsized or simply eliminated.

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We live in a material world, so it can be hard to part with things. But having so much stuff can leave you stressed and anxious, especially if you’re trying to make an important move. The key to getting out of this rut is to de-clutter and downsize.

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1. Ease yourself in

Pace yourself. If you try to do everything in one day, you will feel overwhelmed and might give up completely. You may end up getting rid of close to half your belongings by the time it’s over, so downsizing will be draining. Start small with a de-cluttering task that takes about 5 minutes.
Make a list of things you know off the top of your head that you don’t need. Go through that stack of mail. Pick 10 articles of clothing to donate. You have to start somewhere.

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2. Pare down your kitchen

When people think about downsizing, the first thing that pops into their head is usually a closet full of junk. While it’s important to go through your closet eventually, it’s easy to overlook the place where we always have more than we need: the kitchen.

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First, eliminate tools that have only one purpose. That avocado slicer? Get rid of it. You can slice avocados with a knife. Get rid of duplicates. Do you need a toaster and a toaster oven? Do you need a hand mixer and a stand mixer? Finally, trim down your glassware and dinnerware collections. You do not need 10 of the same glass. You don’t need 25 forks. Little by little, you’ll pare down your entire kitchen. You will be truly amazed with what you can do with a minimalist approach to food prep.

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3. Use this tried-and-true downsizing plan

People who have been successful at downsizing all preach a similar gospel: go room by room and separate things into piles. As the Tiny House Blog notes, “Since your house is already divided into rooms, you’ve got a game plan already set for you!” Start in a guest bedroom. Go through every single item in the room before moving on to the next area. Make three piles: throw away, donate, and keep. That’s it. No “maybe” pile.

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4. Make it a game.

Tell yourself that for every X number of items you keep, X number must be thrown away or donated. You’ll find this helps immensely.

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Downsizing never truly ends
So you’ve gotten rid of a ton of your stuff and you finally feel like you can stop. But the downsizing doesn’t really stop there. Sure, you don’t have to get rid of any more of your current possessions, but in order to remain free from the weight of clutter, you have to be diligent.

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You can’t bring unnecessary items into your now-downsized house. This means you have to be careful about buying or accepting stuff. After you have successfully downsized, consider each purchase before making it. Never buy impulsively. Think about everything you buy before you head to the store. Do you really need it? Is there really a designated space for it inside your home?

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Though getting rid of your long-held possessions can be tough at first, you’ll find that downsizing is addictive. Having everything in its place with no extra stuff to tie you down is truly freeing. Set a downsizing plan and ease yourself in. You’ll find you’re done in no time!

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When you’re ready to sell your home, the Rovistella team can stage your home to make it more appealing to buyers and maximize your sale price! For info write to info@rovistella.com

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