This month, our focus is on ‘Downsizing’.
reading if you are thinking this only pertains to moving to a smaller home. Downsizing can be defined simply as
To reduce in number.
My hubby and I have no intention on selling our home for quite some time but I am constantly downsizing. Remember, my definition is: to reduce in number.
So often, when I go in to do a consultation with a client who is getting ready to sell their home, the issue of ‘too much stuff’ comes into play. How you live in a house is simply far different from how you present it for sale. We often have to discuss how we can get the home ready so that a potential buyer doesn’t have to work hard at looking past all the ‘stuff’. Once we have helped our clients get their home ready to sell they often can not believe the difference. While yes there are often lipstick changes, a lot of the changes go into reducing what is in the home.
The same holds true when we are settling in clients into their new space. Often times there are too many things that do not fit into the new space(s). The result, unhappy home owners!
I read an interesting article called Eight Things You Can Discard to Downsize Your Life. The author, Lindsay Schauer, lives in a 200-square foot cottage so you might be able to imagine her tight space!
She goes on to list the following items to downsize:
- T-Shirts (and other clothing)
- CDs and DVDs
- Sports equipment
- Bags and baggage
- Kitchen gadgets
- Things that are neither useful, nor beautiful
I personally don’t break down my downsizing routine like Lindsay does. I happen to downsize according to rooms. For example:
After every season, I go through our closet and bag up clothes that were not worn during the season. The reason I do this right after the season ends, is because it is still very fresh in my mind. If I know I didn’t wear a particular top I won’t be tempted to talk myself into keeping it for next season. Summer is quickly on its way out so as soon as the weather changes to fall, I’ll be going through our closets to start bagging. Oh – don’t forget the coat closets and shoes!
I find that this particular room in the house tends to be the last one that I attack (although I’m not sure why as it’s usually the smallest room). When it comes to downsizing this room, I have a simple process:
- Is it expired? Out it goes (whether that means in the garbage, recycled, taken to the pharmacy, etc.)
- Do we use it? If no – out it goes.
- Is it half empty? Can it be combined with something else? (all the while asking why are there three half empty shampoo bottles under the sink!)
- Is there something that needs to get put on the grocery list that we do not have? (Remember – I’m a list shopper so if it’s not on the list it won’t get bought).
If you are truly honest with yourself you will know what you use and what you don’t on a regular basis. Really think about what you use once or twice a year and ask yourself if those items need to take up valuable space all year long in your kitchen. In fact, ask yourself if you really need them at all.
When it comes to other areas of your home, you really do need to assess your needs. As we grow older, our needs change. As our kids get older their needs change. I love this quote from the article Downsizing Your Home
“Deciding what you really need requires a good long look at how you live your life daily and prioritizing the activities and items that are already a part of your actual lifestyle–not those activities or items that you want to be part of your lifestyle, but haven’t gotten around to yet.”
It pretty much sums it up!
So as the kids head back to school and we all settle into the autumn season, I encourage you to take a good look at your home. What areas are you able to ‘downsize’?