Decluttering and downsizing can be difficult for some people. We tend to become sentimentally attached to objects we have acquired over the years, so naturally we dislike the prospect of giving or throwing these objects away. For seniors who feel these kinds of emotions, preparation for a move to assisted living or selling a house can be challenging. If you follow the 10 tips to declutter below, however, the process can be much easier for you or your loved one.
How to declutter and downsize – best practices:
1. Start now. The earlier you start, the better prepared you will be for a future move. You will also be in a better position to cope with an unexpected need to move earlier than planned.
2. Work in manageable chunks. If you decide to devote, say, an entire weekend to your downsize goals, you might become overwhelmed. Instead, work steadily and regularly on specific areas of your home.
3. Choose a workspace. When you packed for a trip in the past, you probably used a certain room or space in your home as a place to lay out items to be packed. This is exactly the sort of space that lends itself well to sorting and storing.
4. Take advantage of technology. Now is the time to have all your old photos scanned onto a CD. You can also have home movies transferred onto a DVD. Check with vendors in your area to see which ones offer these services.
5. Shred. Sort through your documents and determine what you really need and what you can shred. You can purchase your own shredder or hire a shredding company to do this for you.
6. Donate. It is easier to give things away when you know they are going to a good cause. Charitable organizations, as well as local thrift shops in your area, may be good starting points. Some of these organizations will come to your home to pick up your items.
7. Give treasured possessions to family members or friends. It can be easier to part with certain possessions if you are sure that someone you love will be able to enjoy them.
8. Hold a garage or yard sale. If you need cash, you can sell what you no longer need in a garage or yard sale.
9. Eat up. Now is the time to consume all of the items in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer. Moving forward, buy only what you intend to eat or drink in the near future.
10. Label. Use a range of colored labels to not only identify types of possessions for a future move, but also to identify what goes with you, what goes in the trash and what goes to charity, relatives or friends.
By following these tips, you can remove much of the hassle and stress from decluttering and downsizing. Help yourself or your loved one by getting started today.