Downsizing? Upsizing? Rightsizing!
Deciding whether the time is right to change spaces is often a factor of determining how much space you need and why.
When we think of downsizing, perhaps the people that first come to mind are seniors with a big house who become empty-nesters. The home they live in has more bedrooms than need, they are heating and cooling space they don’t use. Our happily retired resident is also spending more time outside the house because they don’t have live-in dependents or the responsibilities they once had, and would rather not have cleaning and maintenance items to take care of.
But seniors are not the only ones downsizing. For many, downsizing is more like ‘rightsizing’. Finding that they prefer a simpler life, going through work or relationship changes and maybe having given up vehicles. Traveling more means they don’t need and would rather not have, a larger home. Other factors include the financial savings a smaller home might offer – lower taxes, maintenance requirements, heating and cooling costs. And of course, the environmental movement is also causing people to take a second look at what they have and what they need and reduce their footprint responsibly.
Then there are those upsizing … For all the same but opposite reasons one might choose to downsize, sometimes we need more space too. The birth of a child or as a dependent moves in with you, to make room for hobbies or work, the requirement for a floor plan that accommodates a disability. Maybe, it’s as simple as having more more income affords you the choice to invest in more square footage or art collections that require display space for your personal enjoyment.
Either way, the first step is deciding how much space you need and why. Rightsizing can be a very empowering step! It’s about expanding your options and purposefully moving in new directions.
Step one is all about taking control of your “stuff” and feeling good about controlling it versus letting it control you. Any move is easier once you have your stuff organized but I have found only a small percentage of clients reduce their personal property before moving… The rest honestly believe they will get a chance to do it on the unpacking side! (But the boxes soon find a home in a different attic or basement, that’s all.)
TIPS for reducing your belongings when rightsizing
- Eliminate anything that is broken, damaged or no longer wanted. (Basements, attics, garages)
- Ask yourself: If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it? (No? Then probably not worth keeping)
- It’s time to ask friends and relatives to come and get their stuff. You are not their storage unit! (Set deadlines with them and let them know it will be donated after such a date.)
- Ask for help. Family and friends can be good for this and a professional organizer will rock your world!
- Decide what is really important to you.
- Is this item from a lifestyle you no longer have or want? (Catering size cookware, sewing machine, sailboat, skis etc)
- Work on rightsizing your stuff in weekly, scheduled doses. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! You accumulated over many years, it won’t disappear overnight.
- Value what you keep. The fewer things you have, the more you’ll like them. Enjoy them, use them, display them.
- Prevent new collections from forming. Gifts from others needn’t be material items… Ask for experiences, food items, gift certificates instead.
- Take the time right now to ‘gift’ things to family and friends, that you eventually wanted them to have anyway. Make memories of the gifting event.