Declutter & Downsize: An Exercise in Freedom

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This month our focus is on Downsizing. The definition I use:

 To Reduce in Number

In a way, the word ‘downsizing’ can be interchanged with ‘decluttering’. So how do we get into the situation where we actually have to think about downsizing? Karen Kingston, author of “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” shares her view on de-cluttering:

“People hold onto their clutter because they are afraid to let it go–afraid of the emotions they may experience…afraid they will make a mistake and later regret getting rid of something…Clutter clearing can bring up a lot of “stuff” to be faced and dealt with and intuitively everybody knows it.”

Karen goes on to say the positive impact downsizing and de-cluttering can have:

“Letting go of clutter leaves you free to be you, which is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.”

Letting go of clutter

Image credit 

Steps To Take

As the famous Benjamin Franklin quote says,

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” 

So what can your plan look like to be successful?

Step 1

Start with one day a month. Choose a day that you have anywhere between 4-6 hours of uninterrupted time. If there are absolutely no days that you can have 4-6 hours of time, pick a day that you have at least 2 -3 hours of uninterrupted time. Mark it on your calendar and treat this time like a doctor or dentist appointment. That means no changing the date and time!

Step 2

Choose one room or area to tackle. Set yourself up a decision area (I call it the staging area) where there are four distinct areas:

  • Keep
  • Donate or Sell
  • Recycle
  • Toss


 Image credit

 Step 3

Part of this process is trying to reduce in number. You won’t be able to do that if you put everything into the ‘keep’ area. Some questions to ask are:

  • How often do I use it/wear it?
  • Do I know anyone who could really use it or needs it?
  • Do I really need ‘X’ number? (Ex: Do I really need 5 spatulas?)

Step 4

When looking at your four distinct areas, you should have items in at least two.

Give Away/Donation/Sell

It’s always a good idea to let your family members know what you plan on giving away and give them a chance to take anything they would like. For donation, check your local area for charities. If you plan on selling items (Kijiji), one suggestion is to put your items in your garage (if you have a garage). That way, you do not have strangers coming into your home.


It is always our goal to use the landfill as our last resort. Again, check your local area for recycling options. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many items can be recycled.


Depending on your situation, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry – it is very common. Tackle one room at a time and don’t stop until it’s done. One room may end up taking one month to get through (depending on your situation). Your process will not be like a TV show and be done in 30 minutes.


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Another option is to hire a professional company to help you and /or do the work for you. Most companies are experienced with downsizing and decluttering and are well aware of the sensitive nature of going through this process.

“It is a matter of realizing that your happiness does not depend on your ownership of things. They help you in your journey but they are not the journey itself.” 

― Karen KingstonClear Your Clutter with Feng Shui

Best Things

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Sheri Bruneau Get It Together

 Wishing to fall in love with your home!  Work with Get It Together today! 

Related Posts:

Downsizing: It’s Just Not a Senior Thing 

Conquer Clutter in 1 Month

Finding the Motivation

Solve the Too Much Stuff Problem



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  1. on 17.09.2014
    at 10:54 AM

    I agree, downsizing is not just the idea of moving to a smaller house but more moving to a biger life with less stuff.

    • on 18.09.2014
      at 8:18 PM

      Thanks for commenting Liz. Looking forward to reading your blog as well. ~Sheri

  2. on 17.04.2015
    at 8:47 AM

    This is actually a pretty thought out process and very helpful to getting a plan in mind and act accordingly.

    • on 17.04.2015
      at 2:44 PM

      You are welcome Kate! ~Sheri
      ps – I’ll be checking out your Zumba post as I love Zumba!

  3. on 11.05.2016
    at 10:54 AM

    Hi Sheri, here’s a quote from a friend of mine “Having the least is having the most – Howsen K”. You only need a bed, a pillow, a fan, a plate, and a space to live. Anything that is extra is meaningless.

    • on 11.05.2016
      at 4:43 PM

      Love that! And really, when you sit back and look at things, how much do we really need (not want – but need)? Thanks for stopping by to leave your comment!

  4. on 15.06.2016
    at 1:52 AM

    thanks for sharing this best contant

  5. on 16.08.2016
    at 10:50 AM

    Thank you for sharing! Same to you, I think cleaning unnecessary things is the first step to make life better.

  6. on 28.10.2016
    at 12:04 AM

    Thanks for your great information. The images are so cool and nice. This is really a amazing informative post. This is really so effective for us. thanks for the shearing.

  7. on 11.11.2016
    at 6:22 AM

    Thanks a lot for your great information. This is actually a pretty thought out process and very helpful to getting a plan in mind and act accordingly. Your posts are so interesting and providing me great info. Thanks for the shearing.

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