Are you thinking about selling your large property? Maybe you are downsizing because the children have left the nest? or do you spend most of the year travelling and you want less maintenance of your property? Whatever your purpose for downsizing the first thing people think about is their ‘stuff.’ Stuff ranging from large furniture pieces, multiple bedroom sets, closets filled with clothes, dishes and decorations. Each of them carries memories, they most likely cost your hard-earned money, and some will be more difficult to say goodbye to than others.
When deciding to downsize and worried about your personal things, here are 5 tips to keep in mind.
- What is your nonnegotiable furniture or larger items? Label items yes or no, eliminate the maybe pile. These are the items you are unwilling to part with, label them and picture them in your new home with the new finishings and style. Picture the item in a specific space, measure where it will go and how you would decorate, does it fit with the new style and colours throughout the home? If yes, then keep it. If no, ask a family member if it is something they would like to inherit. These are called early legacy pieces and will allow for the memorable item to still carry its value without having it leave the family.
- Items that no longer carry value but may have cost lots of money, or you’re not sure how to get rid of. These are the items that you may either want to sell and make some money back, or find a charity, or family in need. When downsizing it is often hard to let go of the things that took years to save up for, but no longer fit into your new life, building value into the item by providing for someone else’s needs will leave you feeling like the money and time was well spent even if it no longer follows you through life.
- Smaller items that carry meaning. Items such as books, toys of children now grown, clothes bought through the years. If this is something that will be valued in the next 24 months in your new property, pack it up, label the box clearly, and store it in your new home. Designate a spot that is tucked away in your new home, will not have to be moved frequently but easily accessible to still enjoy reminiscing over. Maybe it’s your wedding dress, the children’s first teddy, or your grandma’s tea set. It may not be front and center in your new home but far too valuable to leave your life. These are items that will present themselves again in the future and its key in knowing they are following you through life, however, their place and position may be different.
- Smaller items and extras. These are items like bedding, dishes, seasonal decorations, children’s toys who are no longer children. Have a garage sale or sell online. There will always be new items you want for your new smaller home and having some of that money back in your pocket will allow for the spending to decorate.
- Most importantly, take it slowly. This is not an overnight decision. Start early, give yourself the time to let go of what needs to no longer take up space in your life, and truly cherish the ones that will be carried into the future. When you decide to keep one thing, really evaluate the next item. Think outside of the box, maybe your grandmas’ hutch was once used for fine china but in your new home it will look beautifully displayed at the end of a hallway for extra storage of your towels. Downsizing isn’t a negative, it’s a new chapter one worth celebrating and being excited for new designs and decorations allowing for the important pieces to take on new life in your new home and allowing the others to find new life with a new family.
Finally, remember it is all just stuff. The stuff may hold a memory of a time or moment, but the item itself is not the memory, the memory is what lasts with or without the item. Enjoy your process, the journey of downsizing and let’s celebrate your new home!