Even though living in large houses has numerous benefits for most families, the cost of maintaining such homes can come as a huge burden. Monthly utilities increase with square footage and they are due every month. An overwhelming majority of the Americans are currently living in houses larger than 2000 square feet. Considering the cost and time put into maintaining such homes, it probably comes as no shock that the trend of downsizing is on the rise.
Assess the situation
The first step on the path to downsizing is to take inventory of your current belongings. Make a list of everything you own. Divide that list into different categories. Some of the items on it can be kept, sold, thrown away or donated. Make sure to stay realistic and objective. It is important not to let your emotions affect the decision-making process. It is completely natural to have an emotional connection to some of the objects from our pasts. For example, if you have a nice ottoman your grandma left you or a fancy dining set. Basically, all items you believe to be too valuable but you know you will not be using. A good solution for this could also be an external storage unit. It is a smart way of expanding your home. This way you will not be cluttering your home but the beloved objects will stay in your possession.
Evaluate the storage space in your new home
Already decided on your new place? Take a trip with a camera and a measuring tape and gain insight into the actual storing capacity of your new home. Make sure you properly assess the available space for storing items. The spaces of interest are an attic, basement, the number, and size of closets, if there is a shed, are there any nooks or handy storage spaces the previous owners used for a different purpose? All this will be valuable to you when deciding on what to bring in your new home.
The OHIO Rule
What is the OHIO rule? The OHIO rule is short from the “Only Handle It Once” rule. This means not to go back on your initial decisions. The best way to do this is to avoid creating a maybe pile. Maybe pile will only bring doubt in your decisions and maybe even make you keep some of the stuff you already decided to let go of.
Often we tend to keep items we once adored or we received from a loved one even though we haven’t really worn them in over a year. The one-year-rule is here to remind us to take a leap and just throw it away. If you truly believe the items are in fair condition, go to your local charity center and donate. Alternatively, you could try and sell or simply create a pile in your front yard with a sign stating you are giving away those items.
If you are running a family household, there is a chance you might be holding on to a lot of paperwork. Are you familiar with drawers filled with Christmas cards, birthday cards, your children’s essay tests, two years worth of bills, receipts for stuff you have been using for a while now and are not returnable no more? The list goes on and on. If so, scanning those documents and uploading them to your computer could be a good idea. This way you will still be able to hold on to written memories and valuable data but also free up some space for new items that are useful right now.
Even though downsizing may seem like a dreadful experience, it really doesn’t have to be so. Holding on to items you cherish and that have a purpose is always a better idea than to hold on to something that is no longer useful for you. Instead of piling clothes, furniture and products only for pure habit, you can clear away the space for new stuff that will bring you joy.