How do you get started?  Having numerous clients go thru this and having my own mom downsize several times and more recently myself, I have several pointers to make this task more manageable.  It is a task we avoid, especially when we look at the stuffed closets and floor to ceiling stuffed basements we have.   It is something we all put off as long as possible but there comes a time where you can’t any longer.  It is easy to downsize by 10%, but most of us need to downsize or rightsize  by at least 50%.  It is the last 20% that is tough.  Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

1. The most common start is a garage sale.  So start there!  Set a date  that is out by a month and then you will have a starting point.  This is a good time to get rid of that first 10% of stuff that you don’t need. 

2. The purpose of your garage sale is to get rid of clutter.  So start small.  Put aside 15 minutes each day (use a timer if you need to) and start your decluttering now, closet by closet, room by room.  Be ruthless!

3.  Now make  a goal  that you will pack one box every day for two weeks of items you must keep and take with you. You can start by packing 10 to 20 of the most necessary items in that room or closet.  Then tape up the container so it will not be easy to rummage thru it.

3. One of the more difficult things will be to get rid of unwanted or un used gifts from friends and family.  Don’t feel guilty.  Just do it.  They will take up valuable space in your new home.

4. You will also find that younger family members are not interested in your treasured ornaments or china.  So display them on several tables and invite in an antique dealer and get a bulk price for everything.  You will not get close to what they are worth but it is necessary to do.  The secret is to forget about it. You must be determined to live in the present and not the past.

5. Look at all your top shelves.  If it is on your top shelve you have rarely used the items or not at all.  So get rid of everything on your top shelves

6. There are also companies that are more like brokers who will buy less valuables in bulk and they will catagorize them and sell them to flea markets, 2nd hand stores or specialty stores.  There are also numerous charities that will come in and pick up items. I am sure you would feel better knowing your stuff will be used and appreciated rather than have it end up in a landfill.

7. Finally, if you still feel overwhelmed and cannot do this on your own, there are companies that specialize in downsizing and counselling to help you.  They will know when to give you  that gentle push and to help you get organized.  They can also help you put together memory books of cherished items.  It is not always having an item but the story and memories behind them that are important.  If you would like some names please feel free to send me an email.