Downsizing the home

How to Downsize Your Home: 6 Tips

Whether you’re moving to a smaller home or just want to get rid of clutter, downsizing can be an overwhelming task. Are emotions complicating the process as you sort through memories? Have those boxes of old bank statements been gathering dust for years? Here are some tips to make downsizing more manageable.

1. Pace Yourself

One way to make downsizing less stressful is to pace yourself and give yourself plenty of time. Start the process at least 3 months before you have to move. Set realistic goals for yourself so that you’re not tempted to overdo it in one week. For example, you can give away one item every day or sort through one category at a time, such as clothing or books.

2. Break It Into Small Tasks

Rather than trying to declutter your whole house, break the project into smaller tasks. Try focusing on one room at a time, or divide a room into smaller projects, such as sorting your DVDs or thinning out your clothes closet. If your task for the day is tackling the junk drawer, just focus on that one task. Don’t even think about the rest of the house or put pressure on yourself.

3. Set New Lifestyle Goals

Now is the time to think about your reasons for downsizing. Besides having lower mortgage and utility payments, what are your new lifestyle goals? Do you want to have more money to travel or take painting lessons? Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Keeping these goals in mind will keep you motivated and help you decide what items will fit your lifestyle.

4. Sort Items Into Categories — No Exceptions!

Downsizing can involve some painful decisions about personal belongings. To keep your project on track, set some ground rules and don’t make any exceptions. A good method is to sort belongings into four categories:

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate or give away
  • Throw away or recycle

It can be a temptation to put off decisions about some items, but remember that you only have four categories! If some items are family heirlooms, for example, perhaps you can put them in the ”give away” pile and offer it to a family member. You can even repurpose items in the “keep” category, such as turning a trunk into a table. Don’t add a “maybe” category or you’ll find yourself keeping much more than you intended.

decluttering tips

5. Organize and Digitize Paperwork

Now is the time to scan and digitize those boxes of documents. Shred tax documents that are more than seven years old, as well as bank statements and other paperwork that you can access online. By the time you finish sorting and shredding, you will have a small amount of paperwork — such as a birth certificate — that can be easily stored.

6. Let a Professional Organizer Help

Downsizing can be an overwhelming project that can trigger a flood of emotions. Our professional organizers provide a neutral point of view to help you organize and declutter. For help with downsizing, book a free consultation with ClutterBGone today.

Downsizing your Home

What to Do When Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing your home can be an overwhelming and emotionally-charged experience. Whether you’re moving to a smaller home or just want to clear out your closets, it’s hard to know where to start. The following tips can help you part with possessions and look forward to a clutter-free home.

Define Your Lifestyle Goals

Downsizing does not have to mean giving up things you like to do. With a little planning, you can define what’s most important for your lifestyle. Do you like to have friends over for dinner? Make your dining and living areas a priority when deciding what furniture to keep. Parting with possessions can be less painful when you’re looking forward to your favorite activities.

Keep Only What You Need

Take an honest look at your possessions and keep only the items you really need. A good method is the one-year rule: if you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it. You forgot about that kitchen gadget that’s been buried in the drawer all year and will probably not need it next year.

You may experience pangs of sadness as you decide to part with possessions. Give yourself permission to grieve, but remember that you are taking a positive step by downsizing and decluttering.

Donate or Sell

Items that you decide not to keep may still have plenty of use left in them. After you’ve sorted through your possessions, decide if you can donate or sell some of the things you don’t need. Donating that outdated radio or camera to a charity thrift store may give years of enjoyment to someone who really needs it.

Newer, more valuable items can put cash in your pocket if you decide to sell them. Whether it’s at a yard sale or an online market, that unopened set of dishes or that sweater with the price tag still on it may be just what someone is looking for.

Downsizing your Home

Think Multifunctional

If you’re buying new furniture, think multifunctional. For example, a trunk can double as a coffee table. Look for ottomans and other furniture pieces that have room inside for blankets. With the right furniture, an entire room can be multifunctional. For example, a convertible sofa and end tables that have storage space can turn a TV room into a guest bedroom.

Digitize

Even after decluttering, you’ll probably still have plenty of documents and photographs. You can keep all that paperwork and all those memories without taking up space. Thanks to digital technology, you can scan documents and photos and store them in the cloud. Shred and recycle what you don’t keep. You can even convert your entire video and music collection to digital files. Think of what a relief it will be to get rid of all those boxes that have been taking up space in your closet!

Expert Help for Downsizing

When it’s time to downsize, our organizing experts can make the process more manageable and less stressful. Contact ClutterBGone today for a free consultation, and let’s get started!

downsizing and decluttering tips

Downsizing and Decluttering: 3 Tips for Seniors

When nearing retirement, many people think about downsizing their house. Moving to a smaller space can lessen tasks like home repairs, make more sense for those with health issues, and help with saving money with reduced bills. If downsizing and decluttering are on your plan as a senior, these tips can help make the process easier to navigate.

1.      Make Thoughtful Decisions

Before making any steps, take the time to make some decisions. Think through what you want and ask yourself questions, such as where will you move to and when will you move?

Rather than rushing the process, take your time to ensure that your actions match what you want. Doing so can also help you avoid the stress of packing things last-minute.

Having a significant amount of time also gives you the chance to get used to the idea of moving. That can reduce anxiety along the way.

2.      Start Small

Begin in one room and focus on it, rather than thinking about the overall house, which can feel overwhelming. While in this room, decide what you want to do with decor, supplies, and other things there.

Consider donating items to a charity or giving your friends those items that you no longer use and any duplicates. Be sure to toss those things that are broken. If you’re unsure what to keep or donate, think about what will fit in your new space and what will suit your new lifestyle.

As you pack belongings into boxes, be sure to label them clearly. For example, write the room and contents of the box on the outside. An example is “Bedroom – Sheets and Pillows.” That way, you know exactly what is in the box when it comes time to unpack.

decluttering professional

3.      Team Up with Professionals

The downsizing and decluttering process can feel overwhelming, and thankfully you don’t have to do it alone. Enlist the help of loved ones who support you in the process. Consider also working with an organizing professional at ClutterBGone. We can smoothly transition to a smaller space while keeping the belongings that matter the most to you.

We are here for you, whether you want help with packing and unpacking, assistance with decisions about what to keep or donate, figuring out an organized room layout for furniture in your new home, and more. Rather than pushing you, we provide friendly support as you need it.

Making the Process Easier for Yourself

By following the tips above, your downsizing journey can be much easier. By taking much of the stress out of the equation, these suggestions help you look forward to starting a new chapter in a new space.

As the moving date gets closer, stay positive by focusing on what you will gain by moving rather than what you lose. Also, begin making plans with loved ones for after the move to help you settle into the new home.

Finally, keep out a box of essential items for the first day of the move so you won’t have to search through boxes. Among the things in it will likely be a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, and snacks.

emotions of downsizing home

How to Deal with the Emotions When Downsizing

Moving to a smaller home makes sense for many seniors and others, and the best time to do so is often when the property upkeep becomes more of a burden than anything else. The transition can bring up several emotions, including sadness, stress, and anxiety. This guide intends to help you cope with the feelings when downsizing.

Home Sweet Home

A home is an emotionally charged place. It is where you may have raised kids, and it no doubt holds many memories. Thus, it makes sense that dealing with emotions relating to the space can be difficult.

As the Memories Come Flooding Back

To help you overcome emotional challenges that hold back the downsizing process, consider thinking differently about the memories. When deciding whether to keep or donate belongings representing the past, an array of emotions is likely to surface.

As you look at each thing, take the time to reminisce. Recognize that letting go of the item will not fade the associated memory. Some people find that taking a photo of the things they do not keep is helpful, especially when printed and put into an album to look at whenever they want to recollect past times.

It is also okay to grieve what has happened over time as you go through the belongings. Being authentic with yourself is crucial.

Coping with What Others Think

Some people we help with downsizing have worried what those around them will think of their moving to a smaller house. Feelings of inadequacy and incompetence in others’ eyes might arise.

If this sounds familiar, think about what is best for you now, not what others think of you. Living in a smaller space can be necessary for many reasons, such as mobility and finances.

Moving Stress

Moving can be stressful. From packing items to cleaning rooms and signing papers, there is a lot to keep track of in your mind.

To help you manage the stress better, a checklist of what needs to happen and an associated timeline of when each task needs to be done is helpful. Also, recognize you don’t have to do it alone. Enlist the help of your partner, friend, or professional to help you through each step.

Afraid of What is to Come

When looking at the next chapter, the unknowns can feel scary. You might be downsizing to a senior home, for example, where you’ve never been before.

To help ease the associated anxiety, consider working with an organizing expert at ClutterBGone. We have helped many people downsize over the years. When the emotions become overwhelming, we can help guide the process according to a timeline that works best for you.

For example, we can create a clear plan with you and break it down into small steps. One by one, the organizer will go through the steps with you to help you stay on track and feel in control.

Having an objective person involved can ensure you maintain the focus to downsize successfully. While closing a life chapter means leaving behind a specific time, starting a new phase in a smaller space can be liberating and bring a sense of hope. Contact us today for a free consultation about decluttering and downsizing your home.

organized kitchen

Is It Worth Organizing a Kitchen?

The kitchen can quickly accumulate clutter as it’s one of the most-used rooms in the home. From the countertops to cabinets and drawers, there are many places that quickly overflow, especially when you have a family. If you’re wondering whether clearing away the clutter is worth it, our professional organizers assure you it is, and here are five reasons why.

Know Where Everything Is

When the kitchen is organized, you will have a place to put each item in it. Rather than searching for things at the last minute when cooking, which can be stressful, you’ll find what you need easily because it’s in its proper spot.

When there’s an opportunity to reduce stress, it makes sense to do it, right?! You’ll likely find yourself feeling calmer in the kitchen as you know where everything is there. Plus, think of the time saved during the day by not searching through drawers and cupboards for utensils and other things.

Take Back Control

A messy room can feel like it has taken on a life of its own. Organizing it, which involves letting go of those items no longer used, helps you regain control.

Paring down the number of items in the kitchen and finding a functional place to store the remaining ones is a powerful process as you look back at the transformation. It’s empowering, too, as you look at the great results you’ve achieved!

Improve Safety

Organizing your kitchen will also help keep your home safe. If there are items on the floor, for example, and you want to keep them, find a different location where they won’t be a tripping hazard.

Freeing up the counter of clutter is also important as it poses a fire risk. Also, an unclean kitchen can accumulate germs, which can spread if not wiped down, and that could make you and your loved ones sick.

clean countertop

Get Your Home Looking Great

A house is one of the biggest investments you can make in life. Safeguard that investment by keeping the kitchen looking its best.

Cleared countertops and overstuffed cabinets can quickly make a kitchen look sloppy, no matter how beautiful the appliances and other features are in the room. That can reflect poorly on the rest of your house. That’s even more reason to keep the room looking at its best – And it’ll appear bigger too when there is less stuff in it.

Surprise Guests? Not a Problem

Have you ever had someone drop in unexpectedly and been embarrassed by the state of the kitchen? When it’s organized and clean, the kitchen looks terrific all the time, so having guests inside when it’s not planned isn’t disconcerting.

An Organized Kitchen Awaits!

A well-organized room looks great and is free of stressful clutter. With so many benefits related to tidying up and paring down items in the kitchen, you might be wondering why you haven’t started sooner.

If you’re unsure how to start decluttering or want help keeping it organized, reach out to our friendly team today. We support you from day one!

downsizing your home

3 Signs Downsizing Your Home is the Right Decision

The decision to downsize involves contemplating living with less and having a smaller space for easier upkeep. When it comes to what to do, you are surely looking for signs to tell you one way or the other. To help you make the decision that is a good fit for you, look for at least one of the scenarios below.

1.      A Strong Desire to Simplify Life

Do you feel drawn to a simpler lifestyle? Letting go of excess belongings when you downsize is a way to reach that goal.

Owning less, ironically, can give you so much more in life. As you won’t have clutter around you, there are fewer distractions. Plus, there isn’t the stress of where to put things anymore after you downsize as you now have only those things you use, which are easier to find a place to store in the home.

2.      Paying off Your Mortgage is a Priority

Moving to a smaller home than the current one usually means getting a smaller mortgage too. That means there is a lower amount to pay off before owning the residence outright. If that’s important to you, then downsizing is something to consider seriously.

Not only that but with a smaller residence generally comes lower bills each month. Having less to pay each month gives you more money to do the things that bring you pleasure.

downsizing to condo

3.      You want to Be Closer to Family

Perhaps your current residence is far from your loved ones. While it might not have started that way when you first moved in, the distance is now becoming a hindrance from seeing those who you care about the most.

If you want to see those you cherish more than once a year for Christmas, you might think about downsizing to a home in a more suitable location. You could then see your kids and grandchildren more often.

Other Signs to Look For

You might also be tempted to downsize if you are falling behind on maintenance. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by the upkeep of the current place, from cleaning to decluttering.

Or, it could be that there is more space than you use so that you can move somewhere with less square footage. Perhaps there is an unused bedroom or bathroom.

When You Decide to Downsize

When it comes time to downsize your home, you’ll know because of the signs you see favouring this decision. At this point, you might feel the process of moving and deciding what to keep or let go of is stressful.

To help make your journey a smoother one, our professional organizers can help before and after the move, from helping you pack to determining the best layout for furniture in your new residence, based on your lifestyle. Rather than doing things without your approval, we support you to ease the pressure and provide a clutter-free residence for you.

Find out more about how we can help you by calling us today. We look forward to helping you begin the next stage in a smaller home that is organized how you want it to be!

Downsizing Tips For Seniors

5 Creative Downsizing Tips for Seniors

For seniors who are ready to downsize, there are many options available. Perhaps you are moving from a house to a smaller home or apartment, or to a retirement community instead. Whichever you choose, the transition will involve paring down belongings to accommodate a smaller physical space. To make the process easier in retirement, here are five creative strategies.

1. Only Create Two Piles: Yes or No

As you go through household items, the number of memories that will crop up will likely be many. It might be tempting to create a “maybe” pile!

But a more effective strategy for reducing the number of items is to stick to only two piles. One is “yes” (keep), and one is “no” (toss, recycle, or give away).

As you pick up each item, ask yourself if you have used it within the past year. If not, why would you pack it up to take to the new residence?

2. Invite Family Members Over

Rather than going it alone, consider inviting kids and grandchildren over to help you with the packing process. Not only can having more people around help you feel supported during this life transition, but you will also have bonding time.

While they are there, share some of the stories behind your favorite mementos. This loving atmosphere is a wonderful way to spend the days leading up to the move.

3. Take Photos of Keepsakes

If you have large collections of figurines or something else, they will take up valuable space in your smaller residence and likely stay in boxes there. You still want to hold onto the associated memories but simply won’t have the storage room. What to do?

The creative solution is to keep some and take photographs of the rest, rather than keeping them all. Then, print out the pics and create a photo book to look through every time you want to remember the good times associated with the possessions.

Box up your photos

4. Use Clear Bags

If you plan to store items in bags, use clear ones temporarily. The concept here is, well, transparent (excuse the pun!).

Choosing clear rather than black trash bags allows you to see what is in each one immediately. Otherwise, it’s a guessing game, and you might accidentally toss the wrong one.

5. Hire a Professional

Enlisting the help of an expert organizer can save you a lot of stress while downsizing. Rest assured that ClutterBGone involves you in all plans and decisions, only moving forward with your approval.

We work around your schedule and lifestyle, and we can help you unbox after moving day in addition to before it. Finally, our friendly organizer can help you bring touches of home to the new place so that you can still enjoy the beloved memories made over the years.

Conclusion on Downsizing

Deciding what to keep can be difficult, no matter your age. But the time you take to do so can help make moving to a smaller place or seniors’ community easier as stress-inducing clutter won’t surround you.

downsizing

Why Downsizing isn’t Just for Empty Nesters

Are you thinking about downsizing or moving to a smaller home? Even if you’re not an empty nester, there are still plenty of great reasons to do so.

Save Money

When you move to a house with less space than your previous one, a major benefit that many people experience is greater cash flow. You will have smaller mortgage payments than before to put toward other things, such as saving money or paying down debts. If you’re significantly reducing the living space, you might even be able to pay cash for the new abode from the profits of your last one.

Another way your family will potentially benefit financially is by having lower utility bills. They will be greatly reduced because you won’t have as much space to heat or cool as before. Thus, if you’re looking to save money, downsizing can be a great plan.

downsizing

Less Stress and Effort

Does maintaining a big house overwhelm you? From cleaning multiple bathrooms to mowing the lawn, painting touchups, siding repair, and countless other tasks, there is a lot to keep up with as a homeowner of a large property. Each season comes with its own set of home improvement activities.

By moving to a smaller home, you can reduce the stress that accompanies a big workload. Having a smaller area to clean indoors, as well as a smaller garden and grass to maintain can free you up for the things you’d rather be doing instead.

Whether you want to try a new sport, read more books, or simply enjoy resting after a busy day, having more time for the things you enjoy is a great reason to consider downsizing. Having less to clean and manage also is a great idea for those who have health or mobility limitations.

More Reasons to Downsize Your Home

There are even more potential benefits to downsizing that you could enjoy soon. For example, you will likely find that you buy fewer things for the home than before, simply because you have less room to store the possessions.

Buying fewer items puts more money in your wallet or in your bank account for retirement. Speaking of the golden years, you might want to downsize a few years before you plan to stop working. That way, you can save money to ensure you have a comfortable retirement.

How to Downsize Properly

Now that you’re looking forward to what’s ahead, what is the best way to downsize? It begins with decluttering, and ideally doing so three months in advance of the move.

Begin with the big furniture items, such as couches and tables, and decide what will fit into your smaller home. Parting with extra items now will save you from having to pay to either move them or to keep them into a storage locker. Consider donating gently-used items to help others.

Next, go through your belongings room by room, deciding what to keep, sell, toss, or donate. Our professional organizers make moving less stressful by helping you every step of the way, from organizing and packing at your residence to unpacking and settling in at the new one.

We can even help you organize the home so that it looks the best when you first put it up for sale. Find out more when you contact us today!

downsizing and moving

Downsizing and Moving? Top Items to Throw Away

An important part of the process of downsizing and moving is determining what you want to bring with you to the new home. This decision is even more critical when simply downsizing, whether it is during retirement or another stage of life, as there is less space for physical items. But deciding what to keep and what to toss isn’t an easy one. With that in mind, we’ve created this guide to help you.

Try to Donate or Sell Rather than Toss

Instead of putting items in the garbage, donate them whenever possible, whether it be to family, friends, or charity. Another option is to sell gently-used items using a local online marketplace. If the object is broken or not in good condition, however, it’s likely a candidate for the trash, unless it is a special item for a recycling and disposal facility, such as an old TV.

downsizing and moving

4 Items to Discard

When you begin the downsizing and moving process, start your donation pile by collecting these four types of physical items:

1.      Old Towels and Sheets

Look through your linen closet to find towels and sheets you haven’t taken off the shelf in six months or longer. The chances are good that you’ve had some of them for several years; they might be frayed or look worn from age. Ask yourself how many towels you need, and the chances are good that you will want to part with some of them.

2.      Unworn Clothes

If you haven’t worn it within the last four seasons, then you likely don’t need it. From pants that are too small to itchy sweaters, there are a lot of things you might be holding onto that are only taking up room in the closet. If you’re reluctant to throw something away, try wearing it. If you can see yourself regularly wearing it in the future, then it’s a keeper. If not, add it to the donation pile.

3.      Spices Past Their Shelf Life

Different types of spices have different expiry dates and using them beyond their freshness date will detract rather than add to dishes. For example, ground spices can last about three years. If it no longer has a distinct smell or vibrant colour, then the chances are good that it is beyond the best-before date. This spice jar is only taking up room in the kitchen cabinet, rather than being useful.

4.      Old Items without Significance

You may hold onto things from childhood simply because you’ve had them for years. But if you don’t have an emotional tie to these crafts, school projects, and other items, then you’ll probably be fine with letting them go. If they are things from past friendships or partners, you might even feel better after tossing those things as doing so frees you from those ties.

How You Feel When You Purge

Getting rid of things when downsizing can help you release stress, especially if you were feeling overwhelmed by the clutter around the house. There is less stuff to move too, which makes moving day more manageable. Finally, you’ll feel great knowing that everything you are taking to your next home is something you have a use for or cherish for sentimental reasons.

Get more help with downsizing by contacting our organizational experts. It doesn’t have to be a scary experience; stay excited about what’s to come and enjoy a home without clutter when a professional is helping you.

Downsizing Your Home

5 Reasons to Hire a Personal Organizer when Downsizing Your Home

Thinking about downsizing your home along with all of the possessions you have accumulated over the years can feel overwhelming. Whether you want to stay in your current home or downsize into a smaller home, the decluttering process intimidates many. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. A professional organizer can help make the process much easier.

1. Finding Where to Start

Often the hardest thing to do is to begin the process. While you have good intentions, selecting which room to begin to organize first or how to go about doing it can be daunting. If it feels like too much, it’s common to think, “I’ll just do it another day.”

A professional organizer can help you if you feel like you’re not able to start the project and continue with it. That way you can progress to your new home or enjoy your current one more.

Downsizing Your Home

2. Help with Moving

Many people do not realize that ClutterBGone’s team of experts do more than reorganize a room. We also can provide valuable assistance before, during, and after the moving process. For example, we can:

  • Customize the floor plan of your future home
  • Develop storage systems for your home
  • Arrange for items to go to donation centers, family, or elsewhere for you
  • Interview movers for you
  • Supervise hired packers
  • Unpack boxes with you

3. Non-judgmental

You might feel embarrassed to show your home to a professional organizer in its current condition. As well, you may worry about sorting through intimate items.

Rest assured that ClutterBGone organizers do not pass judgment about your possessions or the appearance of your house. Instead, we offer unconditional support and encouragement throughout the downsizing process so that you attain the desired results.

4. Deciding What to Keep

It is difficult for most people to choose between what to keep and what to donate, sell, or toss. Possessions often have sentimental values and thinking about giving them up is stressful.

A professional organizer can guide you through the tough moments when you have trouble deciding so that things keep flowing. Transitioning smoothly to a new home or creating a more livable space in your current residence is what you can achieve with a professional organizer at your side.

5. The Experience to Know What to Do

Our organizers have packed, unpacked, and tackled household clutter. They work with adults and seniors, as well as those who are chronically disorganized.

Getting your home into its best shape begins with hiring an experienced organizer who understands not only to begin the downsizing process but keep it going through to the end as smoothly as possible. That way you can get the best price for your home, as well as having packing and unpacking help. What’s more, we make the process an enjoyable one for you, rather than one you dread!

Final Words on Hiring a Personal Organizer when Downsizing

Reducing your world isn’t easy for a lot of people to do on their own. Get downsizing help from people who do this for a living, like ClutterBGone. Contact us now to start the process.