Whether you are downsizing a room or your entire home, the whole process of knowing what to toss and what to keep can be overwhelming. However, there is plenty of good that comes from making room for new things by getting rid of the old. When you are downsizing, here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if you should pitch it or keep it.
Have the right state of mind.
Starting the organization process can be difficult, but one thing is certain – you must be ready to do it. If you are on the verge of a move, plan a major downsizing or purging day a few months or weeks before the move. Mark it on your calendar and emotionally prepare for it. Don’t forget to pray about it, too. If you are in the right frame of mind, and are accepting of the upcoming move and change, you will enter into your organization day much happier and ready for change.
While you might want to keep your disorganized closet or embarrassingly full basement a secret, the more help you enlist, the easier the task at hand will be. Grab a few friends or family members who you trust and love, humble yourself, and ask for help. Provide snacks and lunch, and have them come over to help you out with the heavy lifting and reminiscing.
Make four piles.
You might have heard of the four pile theory. When you are going through a downsize or organization, make piles: keep it, sell it, donate it, pitch it. You might be surprised how much extra cash you can make by selling some of your items online, at a garage sale, or at a local antique shop. You might also be surprised at how happy you can be when you donate items to a local shop or shelter. If you are not sure what to donate, call ahead to a few of your favorite charities and ask what they are looking for. Keep that list nearby when you are purging your items. As for what items to keep, if you haven’t used it or thought about it in a year, it is probably safe to get rid of.
You don’t need the item to keep the memory.
It can be difficult to even consider throwing away items that are connected with happy memories. However, when considering whether or not to keep your child’s first day of school outfit 50 years later, remember that you don’t need the actual item to remember that first day of school and how proud you were when she jumped on the school bus without any tears. Remember, too, that you can preserve memories in other ways. Take a photo of the first day of school outfit, or write down the memory and add it to a notebook full of your memoirs. Your kids will love looking at the photos or reading their history through your eyes.
Your new, smaller, apartment might not be huge, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with only a few items. Keep the things that really matter to you, and find easy ways to store them in your new living situation. Whether you choose to rent a storage locker at your new apartment complex or ask to put a box or two of memories in your daughter’s basement, don’t throw away something that you will regret later.
Downsizing can be emotionally draining and difficult. Remember to keep God in the process as well, by praying for strength and confidence in your decisions. Keep a support system close by and don’t rush through the process. Allow yourself time to look through every item before you say goodbye.
Downsizing can be overwhelming, but better things are on the horizon! God has a plan for you, not your things.