To begin with, a true minimalist can move cheaper and live in a smaller space then most of us. I am not necessarily advocating living as a minimalist. Rather, that you take a good inventory of your belongings and decide what it is you really need to keep. By going through the process of downsizing your belongings prior to a move, you can lessen the cost of your move.
A GOOD RULE OF THUMB FOR MINIMALIZING YOUR BELONGINGS
A good rule of thumb for minimalizing your belongings is to set yourself a goal of eliminating at least 50% of your total belongings. This means if you have two of the same size frying pans, get rid of one. If you have two sets of dishes, get rid of one. You get the picture. And this is not an unreasonable goal, since you have to start somewhere. By giving yourself a round number like 50%, you will still have a little wiggle room for those things you may just simply not be able to part with (so then you got rid of 45%, which is still a good amount of decluttering for any household).
This goal of halving your belongings can really add up when it comes to getting rid of half of your book or DVD collection. These items are a reasonable place to downsize, since most books and DVDs are digital at this point and can be acquired or read electronically. By selecting your favorites and collector’s items, you have already begun the process.
After you go through the process of downsizing by 50% then try to half your keep pile once again. This is when you ask yourself if you are truly interested in keeping something or is there only nostalgia involved. Remember that nostalgia, in this instance, is an emotional attachment to an object.
Nostalgic areas in one’s home are usually located in your closets, attics or garages. These locations are out of sight for the majority of time and can easily attract a plethora of items that you, frankly, may not even remember until you look at them. Someone has said that nostalgia may be preventing you from creating new experiences. One last word on this: just because you no longer have an object that was once attached to an experience, does not mean you will lose that experience.
There are many areas in your household that you can freely downsize with no emotional attachment, such as the bathroom and living room. These are areas which can be easily downsized.
Regardless, it is best to decide which of your larger items you will be keeping at the beginning of the downsizing process. This way you can begin to make arrangements to disperse with those items you will no longer be keeping long before moving day. You have several choices for dispersal: either sell, donate or else toss it out.
I have found that by making a firm decision of how much space you will give, say to your books, you will make it easier to go through the downsizing process. This is because you have assigned them a limited space and are therefore only keeping the amount that fits into that assigned space.
This process can also work with bric-a-brac. Purchase a plastic container and tell yourself that only the bric-a-brac that fits into that container will be kept. The rest is to be given away. If you have been holding on to keepsakes, thinking that one day your children or grandchildren will want them then now is the time to test out that theory. Go ahead and give it to them. They will either take it off your hands or else tell you they don’t have a need for it. Either way, you win, because it is out of your possession.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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