If the process of downsizing or right-sizing to a different-sized home is sending you into an emotional whirl, then these practical tips are just what you need to find the pathway forward.
Downsizing consultant and owner of Little Miss Organised, Bonnie Black, offers perhaps one of the most unexpected places to start preparing to resize.
She said to start in the kitchen.
“It’s the heart of the home and the place we are in most often,” she said.
“It’s also a really non-sentimental place to start, where you can be objective rather than feel emotional. I mean, who feels emotional about knives and forks?
“The reason we start with the kitchen is you can do it in little sections.”
She also recommended not starting with sorting through sentimental and memory items.
And the same can be said about getting rid of old paperwork.
Starting with these items can make the journey overwhelming right from the beginning.
When it comes to the family lounge, Ms Black suggested planning out the space of the new home and then setting parameters, rather than trying to assess each piece of furniture and then working how to fit it in.
“When you start with decluttering you need to see big results fast,” Ms Black said.
With sentimental items, a reset of your mindset is needed.
The trend now is for new and disposable over old, so holding onto memory items for future generations is unlikely to be welcomed by the younger generations.
Instead, as decluttering guru Peter Walsh suggested, decide what you want from your new life and then what you need to live it.
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Take the approach of going deep and narrow rather than shallow and wide.
“We find with the clients they treasure more of what they have if they have less of it,” Ms Black said.
“Take a step back and ignore the fact that something might have belonged to your grandmother and decide: do I really like it, does it fit in with the décor, would I buy it again? If the answer to those questions is no, then why are you holding onto it?”
Ms Black’s downsizing and decluttering podcast series can be found at Little Home Organised. They offer more answers to some vexing home resizing questions.
Little Miss Organised tips to help honour a memory item
- Worried about the money spent? Sell it online.
- Think you may need it in the future? Test the theory. Give yourself a deadline and if you have not needed it, say goodbye.
- Fixated on the sentimentality of memory associated with the item? Pick a few treasures to keep for display/use. Remember, when everything is unique, nothing is special.
- Grappling with your change in identity or a sense of failure? Thank the item for how it served you in the past, accept where you are in the here and now, and provide space for yourself to keep moving forward. By letting go of the old, we are creating space for the new.
- Is regret holding you back? Ask yourself this: what is the worst thing that will happen if I let this item go?