Possessions can gather up in your
life, especially when you have kids. You may look around and find yourself
waist-deep in clutter. But while you dream about a clean and orderly home, the
downsizing process can feel daunting when you have an entire house to go
through. Where do you even start? How do you avoid the heartache of accidentally
parting with some of your memories? If you take a look at these five tips
below, you may find your downsizing experience more manageable.
Know what to keep. First things first:
know what matters to you. It’s good practice to keep hold of family heirlooms
(or, if the given heirlooms were never your taste, give them away to a fellow
family member or put them into off-site storage). Also keep your hands on any
and all important papers, including licenses, records, titles, diplomas, and
other related matter. If you lose those, you’ll always soon end up needing them
for one situation or another.
Know what to throw out. The rule of thumb
here is simple: If you couldn’t imagine looking a person in the eye as you gave
the item over to them—even for free—then it should be trashed. It’s probably
too dirty, too worn, or otherwise too useless to benefit anybody.
Know what to alter. This matters for
both things you want to keep and things you don’t. If you get rid of electronics,
make sure to wipe them clean of all your personal information. People who buy
your used electronics could otherwise easily figure your identity and
potentially use it for their own benefit. And if you’re looking to keep family
photos, consider taking the time to finally digitize them. That way, you can
keep everything that matters to you without the clutter.
Know what to sell and what to donate. This
can be a tricky one to decide. When is your great-grandmother’s desk a
priceless antique or just a favored, worn piece of furniture? If you don’t have
a great knowledge for antique and vintage items, you’ll want to consider
letting Caring Transitions take a look. Our trained team of professionals can identify
what could bring you money and what just has sentimental value.
Ask yourself crisis questions. While
some of these situations can be difficult to think about, they can help you put
your possessions into perspective. If your home were to catch on fire, which
possessions would you want to save once you knew your family was safe? If your
home was robbed, which items would you put the effort into getting replaced or
being tracking down? In the event of a national crisis, which essentials does
your family need for survival? Put yourself in the mindset of some difficult
scenarios and see how you feel you’d react. Then you’ll know what matters most
The task in front of you can be large, but you can get it
done as long as you keep a cool head and take it one step at a time. If you
need a break or less stress, look to the professionals of Caring Transitions.