‘Downsizing for Dummies: 7 pro tips for first-timers’

Karen Shinn, Downszing Diva

When’s the best time to begin Downsizing?

At Downsizing Diva, we know a thing or two about downsizing and moving. For over 15 years, we have been helping people downsize, organize and move and the question we are most often asked is… “When is the best time to start downsizing?”

The answer is TODAY!

Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned to help you get started:

1. Start small, but start!

Don’t think you’re going to tackle downsizing your home in one fast swoop! It took time to accumulate all of your treasures and it’s going to take time to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Select a small area and begin!

2. Things will look worse before they look better!

The best way to begin downsizing is to select a closet, or a drawer or a shelf. Remove everything from the space, look at each item and, before you put it back, ask yourself three questions: Do I want it? Do I need it? Will I still use it?

3. Let go of things you don’t want, use or need… NOW!

When a client tells me they have household items and furniture to get rid of, I recommend they call Furniture Bank. It just makes sense to me. What are the alternatives? Giving it away may work for some but it’s not always an option. Likewise, selling stuff on Kijiji seems easy but the price has to be right and you have to be willing to negotiate price and delivery which can take time.

4. When you buy something new, let go of the old!

There is no point in buying a new toaster if you are going to keep the old one. Either it works or it doesn’t…figure it out!

5. Ask for help!

When the task seems daunting, ask a friend or family member to help. When you work with someone who is not emotionally attached to your stuff, you will find it easier to let go. That’s why so many people call in the Diva!

6. Your family does not want your stuff!

Your furniture and accessories may bring back wonderful memories…for you. When you are downsizing and moving, select items you really treasure to take to your new home. Tastes change and younger family members likely have different ideas of home décor than you do.

7. “It’s better to give with warm hands, than cold.”

This statement, made by a participant at one of our presentations, means that if someone likes one of your treasures almost as much as you do, consider giving it away NOW and watch them enjoy it. You will feel wonderful knowing someone is treasuring something that was so important to you.

When you take the first steps to clear clutter, you’re on your way to reclaiming your home and your life!

Call Furniture Bank at 416.934.1229 to schedule a pickup or find out when you can bring your items to their facility in Etobicoke. You will be making a huge difference to someone transitioning out of homelessness or displacement.

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