By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Have you ever moved to a new home, and as you’re packing you can’t decide, so you say I’ll just take it with me… just in case I need it?

So you move into your new home. You still can’t decide, so you put it in the attic or basement so you can decide one day.

Five to ten years later, you go to sell your home and you find that same box or boxes exactly where you left them when you moved in 5 to 10 years ago.

  • Never used…
  • Taking up space…
  • You even forgot what was in them.

Read my recent article, How Do You Know What to Take and Not Take with You When You Downsize Your Home?

Fast forward… you’re moving again. This time to a smaller home that doesn’t have an attic or a large basement. You look at that same box or boxes… are you going to take the time to go through them and make decisions or are you going to hurry through and take it with you again?

It’s not just boxes though….

  • It’s clothing, shoes, accessories.
  • It’s furniture, sentimental items, and books.
  • It’s decorative accessories, hobby items, and kids’ stuff.

Too often when we downsize, we take way too much stuff with us!

Don’t let this happen to you!

All it takes is a little planning and a lot of decision-making.


My Top 5 Tips to Help You Prevent This Downsizing Dilemma


1.   Think “less is more”: Declutter first

Take on the mindset of “less is more”.

  • Remove, dispose of, donate, or sell anything you don’t want, need, or will use.

Moving to a smaller home forces you to make decisions.

  • Clutter is really just a series of deferred decisions.
  • Decide to decide. No messing around. Keep asking yourself, do you need it, will you use it, and do you love it? If not, decide to get rid of it.

You can make decluttering easy, effective and fun!


2.   Think “minimalism”: Needs first

Force yourself to focus on “bare bones” first.

  • What do you actually need in your new smaller home?
  • What is absolutely essential?

In your larger home, you had many more places to put things. In a smaller home, you don’t.

  • For the moment, think like a minimalist.
  • What will you absolutely need? A bed, chair, sofa, and desk?

I know, coming from a designer that probably sounds strange, but it’s the best way to start training your brain to think like a minimalist.

Get you FREE download: The ABC’s of Downsizing

3.   Think “Scale”

In your larger home, you could get away with larger scaled items. In a smaller home not so much.

You don’t want to overwhelm the space with too many oversized pieces that don’t fit or look right in a smaller home. This is not to say that you can’t take a few larger scaled pieces to make a statement i.e. a large mirror, armoire, or statement headboard.

Just be more selective about the ones you do decide to take.


4.     Think “Multi-functional”

Given a choice between two pieces of furniture, one that can be used in several different ways versus one that feels just for one purpose, choose the one that can serve several needs. i.e. high or low storage tables, desk, eating, cocktail table, and storage.


5.     Think “Lifestyle”

Living in a smaller space frees you up to do more of what you really want. i.e. long walks, bike rides, travel, and entertaining.

When you have a big home as beautiful as it might be, it is a different lifestyle.

More demanding of your time, energy, and resources.


Learn more: How to Avoid the Costs of Double Downsizing

If you downsizing to a smaller home, if the simpler, less cluttered lifestyle is what you are looking for, follow these five tips and mindset shifts:

1.   Think less is more: declutter first

2.   Think scale: smaller is better

3.   Think minimalism: essential items first

4.   Think multi-functional: space-saving and practical

5.   Think lifestyle: less stuff means more time, money, and freedom for your new life


Want to continue learning more about downsizing and decluttering?

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