We love our stuff, but downsizing and decluttering are also appealing. In addition to the physical benefits, like easier cleaning, downsizing can also have proven mental and emotional benefits, including emotional relief and stress reduction.
Downsizing is sometimes associated with retirement, kids moving out, etc. The reality is anyone can decide to downsize and at any time. Some do it after a divorce. Some start decluttering after a move, swearing they’ll never go through that again.
How Do You Know When to Downsize?
Decluttering and downsizing happen when certain life events happen or an emotional threshold has been crossed, usually when a person is frustrated or ready for change, such as in the following cases.
- You’re spending more time cleaning and maintaining than living. If you feel burdened by your possessions or the size of your home, it’s time to downsize.
- Unused rooms. A big house may have made sense at one point, but if you never use that formal living room or dining room or those guest rooms are sitting empty, either downsize or start having guests over and making use of those rooms. You’ll be happier.
- You travel a lot. If you’re never home, do you need a space that big or all that stuff? Probably not.
- It’s gotten too expensive. If your monthly costs are becoming too much, downsizing might be the right solution. Bonus: If you declutter, you might be able to make money from the stuff you let go of.
- Aging in place concerns. As you get older, you have different needs. Maybe a home with multiple staircases isn’t the best idea, or you want a more accessible bathroom. Or perhaps you’re considering a retirement community. In any of these cases, downsizing could be the correct answer.
- You just have too much stuff. It’s all too easy to accumulate a lot of things. George Carlin even had a famous comedy routine about it. But if you can’t find what you want when you need it, you really may have too much stuff. Or all of those collectibles that were cute? If you resent finding space for them or the time it takes to dust them, maybe it’s time to scale back.
- Lifestyle changes. In addition to changes like entertaining less or the kids have moved out, maybe other things in your life have changed that signal it’s time to downsize. Perhaps you bought a home with a pool you no longer use, you have a lot of sports equipment you no longer use, or you have a boat that stays parked in your driveway.
How Do You Downsize?
Downsizing your belongings can be an emotional process. Where do you even begin?
- Pace yourself and be prepared for emotions to arise.
- Start small. Pick a spot and start, either with a room or category of stuff but start.
- Ask if you really use it (at least once a year) or do you really love it? If it doesn’t fit one of those categories, let it go.
- Do you need multiples? Items tied to memories or emotional connections are acceptable, but you don’t need ten souvenirs from an event or that entire collection. Keep the ones you love, and let the others go.
- Go digital. That won’t work for everything; when it does, it saves time and can be more secure if you have backups (make sure you have backups!).
- Get help. If you can’t decide what to do, recruit someone who will be objective and help you decide what to keep and eliminate.
Box&Co Will Safely Store Your Out-of-Season Items
Put those out-of-season items into storage as part of your downsizing plans. It’ll give your place a more spacious, lighter look. Box&Co can make it incredibly easy for you. All you have to do is request some of our sturdy, eco-friendly storage containers, and we’ll drop them off at a time of your choosing. Pack your items in the containers, and when you’re ready, we’ll pick your things up and store the containers for you. We’ll return your items when they’re needed, and you can keep track of your stored items online. To learn more, contact our storage experts today.