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  • Writer's pictureArwen Rasmussen

Downsize & Simplify



Whether you are downsizing to make a move to a new home, or you are trying to reclaim your current living space, creating a plan before you start will make the job easier and produce better results.


Be realistic-remember it took a lifetime to accumulate these items.  It will take time to sort through them.  The job will be physically and emotionally demanding.


Make a schedule.  Decide how much time you have to allocate per day, week, and month to the task.


Keep your time frames short.  Two to three hours at a time allows sufficient time to complete enough to give you a sense of accomplishment without becoming exhausted and frustrated.


If you decide to enlist the help of family and friends, keep in mind the personalities before you decide at what stage help will be beneficial.  Remember this is your project.  Do not let someone else order a dumpster and start tossing. 


Divide the task by room and divide the room into sections. Start in one area, a closet, book shelf, or corner.  Do not jump from room to room when sorting.  The job will seem overwhelming and you will lose your motivation.  Completely finish one area before moving to the next.  The sense of accomplishment will keep you motivated.


Make sure you have plenty of heavy-duty garbage bags, boxes, and totes, before you start.  Label all containers with the contents.


Start with the small items when downsizing.  The photos, knick knacks, children’s toys, and papers will be the most difficult to decide whether to save, pass on to family and friends, or recycle.


As you sort through clothing remember if you have not worn it in a year, get rid of it. That includes the items with the tags still on them.


Consider function and need.  If you are not using it, why are you keeping it?  


Once an item is in the disposal pile do not do not take it back out.


Allow yourself some time to reminisce.  Enjoy the trip down memory lane as you remember your wedding day, your child’s first day of school, or the biggest fish you ever caught. 


The sense of accomplishment when the task is completed will be well worth the effort.


*****


I HAVE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT ACCUMULATING MORE DOES NOT BRING CONTENTMENT.  THE MORE I POSSESS THE MORE I FEAR TO LOSE.


THIS DAY I CHOOSE TO LET GO OF THINGS I HOLD TOO TIGHTLY.  I WANT TO BE FREE OF THINGS, I WANT TO BE HAPPY.


-Pat Corrick Hinton

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