So, you made the decision, sold your home, and got a smaller house. Downsizing was the right decision at this stage of your life.
And that move also means minimizing your belonging. But what do you keep and what do you get rid of? What is essential and what has now become excess junk?
Should It Stay or Should It Go Now?
Most everyone in the United States tends to accumulate things. It's just what we do.
Granted, there are those who have little affinity for material goods or belongings. And there are, of course, many who would own more if they could afford it. But the truth is that, in the US, we have a substantial amount of personal belongings and "stuff" in our homes (and storage units!)
In fact, as we get older and have been around a while, we can accumulate quite a bit of stuff.
So, when couples approach their so-called sunset, or retirement, years it's not at all uncommon for them to sell their homes, divest themselves of things they no longer want or need, and downsize, or "reduce their footprint" as some would say.
And what is downsizing exactly?
According to The Spruce,
"Downsizing is moving from a larger house or space to a smaller one. It typically involves getting rid of possessions that are no longer needed or that will not fit into the new house and can be a large lifestyle change. Common examples of downsizing include a couple moving into a smaller home after their children have moved out or a family moving from a larger home in a rural or suburban area to a smaller home in a large city."
But how can you decide what should be held onto, what should be passed on to family members, and what should simply be gotten rid of?
From Merely Decluttering to Downsizing
It's one thing to simply go through your home in systematic fashion, clearing out the small junk and unwanted items stashed in drawers, cabinets, closets, and corners. But to truly "downsize" often requires a bit more of a ruthless approach.
Sort of a downsizing on steroids approach!
But the problem for many of us is that even the things we know we don't need, won't ever use, and really don't want can be hard to let go of after so many years. "Sentimental value" can be different for everyone and even useless items we've had in the house for decades can have a hold on us because of the memories and familiarity attached to them.
For some homeowners looking to downsize, some of their unneeded and unwanted items can be genuine antiques or heirloom pieces that have great value. And that makes the decision difficult.
So, what is an intrepid, downsizing couple to do?
An article from House Beautiful offers this list of essentials to never throw out when downsizing:
- Important papers
- Electronic devices
- Family heirlooms
- Landline phone
- Valuable collections
- Fine jewelry (in original boxes)
- Sentimental items
- Emergency supplies
- Basic Kitchen and Bathroom Supplies
- Expensive Handbags and Their Tags
- Unexpired Medication and Toiletries
- Picture frames
Landline phones?! The author points out that these can be handy if you lose cell service or your cellphone dies.
And sentimental items? What do you do about those?
One article suggests the following,
"There are several ways to approach sentimental items; if you have boxes and boxes of old photos but don't have the room to keep them all, think digital! Keep the originals that have most meaning and value to you, then go through and scan all the rest. That way, you still keep all your pictures, they just take up way less space. The same applies to postcards, greeting cards, and other things, like tickets or playbills, that you may have kept as mementos."
Purge, But Purge With a Plan
There is also a tendency to simply start throwing things away without any particular plan or strategy in mind. This can not only be inefficient, but it can result in haphazard piles of junk, rubbish, and debris all over house.
The folks at MyMove suggest that you create just two piles: a 'Yes' pile and a 'No' pile:
"When you’re going through belongings, some things are going to tug at your heartstrings, and you’ll be tempted to make a third pile of things to keep if you have space. Don’t fall for it. You’ll end up with a Maybe pile that’s bigger than either of the other two. When that happens, you haven’t really made any progress in sorting, just moved it across the room. Take a hard look at every item you pick up. If you use it regularly, keep it. But it’s time to let something go if it’s been sitting in a closet or on a shelf for a year or more."
There are several approaches you can take when you begin to sort through and declutter your home prior to packing and moving. And there are many benefits that can come from undertaking a structured and intentional downsizing effort.
So, with that in mind, we put together this handy guide help you in the process of downsizing and junk removal:
Keep the Good Stuff and Get Rid of the Junk with Junk
Remember: one person's junk can be someone else's treasure. Which is a big part of why, at Junk King, being green is part of our company mission.
We demonstrate that by recycling or donating everything we possibly can. When it comes to furniture and household goods removal, we take the environmentally-friendly route by making sure the metal, wood, and other materials are recycled properly.
And if your items can be reused, Junk King will transfer them to a local donation center where they can find a new home.
Downsizing can be much easier with quick and affordable junk removal services to help you out. So, consider Junk King your go-to partner for cleaning out your old home and simplifying your lifestyle!
You’ll love your experience with Junk King:
- Easy scheduling and on-time, as-promised arrivals.
- A courtesy call 15 to 30 minutes before we show up.
- Courteous, uniformed crews of insured professionals.
- Safe, fast, and thorough junk removal service.
- Honest, up-front estimates and no hidden fees
So, ready to "reduce your footprint" and move on with less? It's as easy as 1,2,3.
Book online or call us today at 1.888.888.JUNK (5865) to get started with a free estimate.