You’ve had the family discussion, you’ve examined all the options and the decision has been made: Time to downsize.
But after 30, 40 or 50 years it is inevitable you will have accumulated a lot of stuff! This makes a daunting task seem nigh on impossible. How do you decide which items, that hold such precious memories, you can let go of?
Working with clients going through this process has shown how this life changing event brings up a range of emotions including conflict, depression and grief. But for all of that, if managed well, the effect of a downsize declutter can be a very positive and freeing experience.
So where to begin?
Don’t rush the process
Most people underestimate the time required and start too late. This is not a job to leave until a couple of weeks before you move. There are situations where time is limited but if you are even just considering downsizing then start decluttering now! This gives you time to gather and work with the family, share stories about different items, photograph and record memories and pass things on to the next generation.
Walk round the house and identify what you would like to take with you, what other family members might like to take and what you would be happy to let go. Ask a local auctioneer to visit and advise what might be of value so you can make informed decisions about whether to donate or sell items.
Room vs Room
Once you have details of your new home get the room measurements then work out what will fit. If the large kitchen table won’t fit in the more bijou kitchen then the decision is made for you!
How to eat an elephant
One of my favourite mantras when facing a daunting task is ‘there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time”! Approach your downsizing as a series of small tasks. Drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard, room by room.
By having the time to reminisce and share memories with friends and family helps make an onerous task a happier experience. It helps to build the excitement of moving into a new chapter of life. As one of my clients said the other day “this is actually quite good fun once you get going”