Thinking of downsizing? How to decide what stays and what goes

Downsizing and decluttering go hand in hand – when moving to a smaller home it’s inevitable that you will have to make some decisions about which of your belongings you keep, and which you don’t. Mastering the art of decluttering involves making mindful decisions, and there are some key strategies and considerations that can help you during the process.

1, Start early and plan

Begin decluttering well before your move, to give yourself ample time to sort through your belongings without feeling rushed and stressed about it. Create a detailed plan outlining which areas of your home or groups of items you’ll tackle first, and set realistic deadlines to keep yourself on track. Breaking down the task into manageable steps can prevent it from becoming overwhelming.

2, Put things in categories

Divide your items into groups like clothing, kitchenware, furniture, books, paperwork and things of high sentimental value. This makes it easier to evaluate what you have and decide what you need. Sorting by category rather than by room helps you see which items you have lots of similar variants of and to clarify which ones you want to keep and which are just taking up space.

3, Evaluate emotional value

Consider each item’s practicality as well as its sentimental value. Is it something you use regularly or does it hold significant emotional importance? If the answer to both is no, then it can be thrown away, sold or donated. And for the sentimental items, consider whether they truly bring joy or hold irreplaceable memories, and only keep them if they do.

4, Use the four-box system

As you declutter, use the four-box method: keep, donate, sell and throw away. This system forces you to make a decision about each item and prevents unnecessary dithering. It’s key to be honest with yourself during this process. For instance, if an item has been unused for a year or more, will you really use it in the future or does it need to go?

5, Check the size of your new rooms

Understanding the dimensions of your new home is crucial. Try to arrange a visit before you move to measure each room carefully, so you can determine how much space you’ll have for furniture and other items. This will mean you won’t end up moving things that won’t fit or work in your new smaller space – or get rid of something you could have kept.

6, Look into self storage

No matter how dedicated you are to the art of decluttering, there will probably be some items that you can’t take to your new home, but that you’re just not ready to part with – or that you know you will need down the line. And that’s ok. In this scenario, self storage is a ready-made, flexible solution.

Renting a safe, secure storage unit for either long-term or short-term storage is ideal for keeping your things safe until you’re ready for them. It means you can downsize effectively, keeping your new home clutter-free, without having to get rid of things that still hold value, be it functional or emotional.

Contact Spire Removals to discuss your self storage options, and to arrange a stress-free move to your new home.

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