How to Downsize Your Belongings & Simplify Your Life

December 08, 2017
Woman opening a cardboard box on a counter.

Downsizing your belongings is a lot like getting in shape. It’s hard work and takes time, but it can help you feel much better once you’re done.

People downsize their belongings for many reasons, such as moving into a smaller home, looking to simplify life or wanting more space.

Regardless of your objectives, getting rid of objects has many benefits. They include:

  • Less stuff to maintain: With fewer belongings, you’ll eliminate the chores that go with them — no more dusting extra shelves or tripping over a pile of books on your stairs.
  • More time for fun activities: With less upkeep, you’ll have more time to do the things you want.
  • Less stress: A less cluttered interior is visually more comfortable. Spending less time on chores will also give you more time to relax.

Here are a few tips to help you pare down the items you own:

Start small

When you’re ready to start getting rid of things, plan to work on one room over the course of a weekend. Don’t try and downsize your entire house all at once, it’s important to start small. By doing so, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed, you’ll see the progress you’ve made and it’ll motivate you to continue.

Make definitive decisions

As you downsize, decide what stays and what goes. Some people put belongings into a “maybe pile” with plans to return to it at the end, but you might not prefer this approach because it can create more work. If that’s the case, make definitive decisions as you go to keep your space clean and maintain momentum.

Expect emotional ties

You’ll get a little emotional as you eliminate your belongings. Parting ways with your children’s artwork, for example, or family heirlooms can be tough.

While you don’t have to get rid of everything, downsizing often requires sacrifices. Select the most important things to keep and part with the others. You can always hand down precious items to your children or grandchildren.

Go digital

You don’t have to dispose of your family photos in an effort to downsize your life. Instead, scan your photos and save them to a computer or external hard drive. Keeping a hard drive full of pictures takes up a lot less space than boxes of photos, albums and scrapbooks.

Use paperless billing

Paper bills received through the mail can take up a lot of space. You probably put them on the kitchen counter or in a box to be paid before breaking out the checkbook. You can eliminate all this clutter by using , and .

Decluttering your home can make everything feel lighter – but sometimes you still need to do a deep clean. Here are 10 things you never clean in your home.

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