Facing the prospect of downsizing may be a daunting task. There are very real challenges, both physical and emotional, that can seem to hijack this particular chore. Let’s explore some ways to break down this task into manageable steps. Think about trying to sort your belongings into four categories; Keep, Give, Sell, and Trash.
KEEP: Obviously, the size of this list must be dictated by the amount of space that you will have available in your new home. Choose the best pieces of furniture to fit your new space and work with your lifestyle. Pieces that do double duty are often the most useful and versatile. Keepsakes may need to be especially limited, so think about alternate ways of displaying your mementos. Perhaps items that might have previously been sitting on mantelpieces or china cabinets could now be hung on the wall in shadow boxes?
GIVE: This might be a good time to entrust some of your valuables to friends or loved ones. Consider the joy that you will experience giving your children or grandchildren items that you hold in special regard. If possible, include a note or label for these items if they have a unique backstory. Other items can find new homes through charities or thrift stores. Your treasures may be a blessing to a new family!
SELL: This would be a perfect time to have a garage or yard sale. You would be amazed at the items that you can sell at a garage sale. One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure. It wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra cash now, would it?
TRASH: When all else fails, time to toss. Be on the lookout for periodic recycling events in your area. This is where you can dispose of items like old paint cans, batteries, tires, appliances, and electronics. Contact your local waste and refuse department for instructions on how to dispose of other items.
If you’re having a hard time letting go of particular belongings, consider other ways to cherish the memories associated with these things. For example, you can make a quilt out of favorite clothing material, include photos of these items in an electronic scrapbook, or paint or draw a still life of well-loved objects. Also, try to remember that feeling of joy that you experienced when you received or found each item. You can pass this joy on to the next owner of your treasures!