In the last month, I have helped three different clients downsize and de-clutter their homes in preparation to move to a smaller living space. In each case, we took carloads of boxes filled with items to donation sites. Two of the projects also involved hiring a rubbish removal company to cart away accumulated, unwanted stuff.
It’s amazing how much you can accumulate! My theory is that the amount of stuff you have expands to fill the space you have to house it. Think about it. When you first moved into your house, were there empty closets or unused cabinets? A large empty attic? How long did it take to fill them? Probably not very long.
If you don’t regularly go through your things, and donate, sell, throw out or give away the items you’re not using, the amount of stuff you have grows, and grows and continues to grow. Then, one day, with the closets, basement, attic and/or garage bursting at the seams, it becomes a huge job that feels overwhelming, exhausting and takes many, many hours, days or even weeks to tackle.
My recommendation is to schedule time on your calendar, twice a year, to go through your storage areas and get rid of unused, unwanted, broken and unloved items. This will enable you to maintain a reasonable inventory, stay on top of what you have (and actually know what you have) and will avoid a huge project when it’s time to move or downsize.
An easy way to deal with your wardrobe is to sort through your clothes when you do your semi-annual seasonal switch and identify what you haven’t worn or no longer fits you. Fill a bag and donate to your favorite charity.
If you replace an item (i.e., a coffee maker), rather than putting the old one in the basement, donate it or give it away. Why fill the basement with things you know you’ll never use again?
Take advantage of the upcoming 4th of July holiday and liberate yourself from unwanted stuff. Celebrate the freedom of owning only what you truly need, use or consider to be beautiful.