Whether you’re planning on making the move to a retirement community, or are downsizing to a smaller home, decluttering is the first step to a successful transition. Moving is never easy, especially if you will be leaving the home you spent a majority of your life in, but getting a fresh start in a new location should be viewed as a positive and exciting new venture.
As we age, we realize that it isn’t the things we have that are important, but rather the memories these things have created. At times, the nostalgia factor can prevent us from parting with items we no longer use or need, and in turn, we let junk start to pile up in our attic, basement, or closets. Though it may seem like a big task, we have plenty of tips and tricks that will get you from overwhelmed to organized in no time!
- Start with a plan. The very first step to decluttering your home before a move is to START EARLY! Give yourself ample time to go through every room and every item that is important to you. Set aside a few weekends that you will dedicate solely to cleaning out your home. Talk to family members or adult children and see if they may be available to help you. Bringing in friends and family can not only serve as motivation, but they also may come across things you’re getting rid of that they would like to take. Additionally, set yourself up with empty boxes, trash bags and cleaning products ahead of time.
- Know your future space. Consider where you’ll be moving to as you are decluttering your current home. Will you have a garage? How many bedrooms will you have? If you know you will no longer have some of the spaces you have now, like an attic or an office, get rid of the items you can no longer store like that old desk, extra bedroom furniture or elliptical that your new space won’t be able to fit.
- Get rid of duplicates. It’s likely accumulated plenty of things you no longer need, and even have duplicates of many items. Remember that you are downsizing for a reason, you don’t need 4 spatulas and 5 cookie sheets. Keep one of each item you think you’ll need and give the rest away. The last thing you want is to move into your new home and have it instantly feel cluttered.
- No maybes. If you have a hard time parting with your things, don’t allow yourself to have a ‘maybe’ pile. Doing so will only result in you moving your items from one part of the room to another without getting rid of much. Instead, create different categories so you don’t have to feel guilty about letting go of your perfectly good possessions. Create a trash pile, a keep pile, a donation pile and a sell pile.
Whether you're moving across town, or across the country, you shouldn't let your future home be weighed down by the past. The key to downsizing is to part with everything that has become a burden and only keep the things that are important to you. Getting rid of all that clutter is a liberating experience that will lead you toward a more enjoyable lifestyle!
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