Everyone needs to declutter their lives once in a while and get rid of junk. But if you really want to downsize your lifestyle, you need a plan.
There is a movement in the United States towards shedding material things and reducing one’s “footprint” on a number of levels. For some this can mean simply getting rid of excess belongings. For others, it can mean more than just an effort to declutter your life.
It can take a far more significant turn.
One of the more popular ways people have been “downsizing” their lifestyles is with the Tiny House movement. These homes are often custom-built houses that are under 500 square feet. The idea is to optimize the available space in order to reduce costs all around.
The movement is real and people take it very seriously. In fact, according to Tiny Home Oregon, there are numerous benefits with tiny homes:
Seniors are discovering a way of living that will meet their needs, all while being able to live more comfortably within their fixed incomes. Also, with customized building, Seniors can have their homes built to be more handicap accessible, allowing them to age in place.
By using less resources by use of well insulated, small energy efficient homes one definitely creates a much smaller carbon footprint on our environment. By using reclaimed materials for building, we can further reduce the impact on our landfills.
Young couples are finding by living Tiny, they are able to get a head start with their starter home that will help them eventually "Graduate" to a more traditional home if they so desire …it’s all about living within means and taking the money saved and applying it towards whatever goals they may have.
Downsizing your lifestyle, however, does not require moving into a 20 by 20 foot cabin on wheels! You can make a significant impact in your lifestyle and your budget by simply following a plan to reduce acquisition and accumulation of things. And by getting rid of much of what you have now.
Ten Tips for Downsizing Your Lifestyle
Start planning your downsizing and set some goals for yourself. If you are a couple or a family, this must become a mutually agreed upon endeavor. This is especially true if your downsizing goals include moving to a smaller home.
First you must assess your actual needs. It is tempting to go a bit overboard and find that you have overdone it with the shedding of household goods and personal belongings. Try to determine what you actually need and what you truly want to have. There are no set ground rules for this.
Remember that it’s always easier to get rid of more than it is to replace what you’ve already gotten rid of!
Making these decisions requires that you look at how you live your life daily and then prioritizing the activities and belongings that are already a part of your actual lifestyle. Evaluating everything you currently own is essential to this process. Try to envision living without these items as you consider parting with them.
If you think you can manage without them then note these as items that should go. We tend to keep things because we intend to use them someday. But the truth is that much of what we have accumulated doesn’t get used and may never be. So make room for the things you actually do or will use.
Tip 1 - Stored Items
Inspect every space in your home including cabinets, shelves, and closets. Go through your storage areas such as attics, basements, sheds, spare rooms, etc. Remember to go through all of your bathroom and kitchen cabinets and “junk” drawers. Much of what you find are probably items that you haven’t used (and may never use!) Mark these for disposal.
Tip 2 - Media Collection
Because music is so accessible now on the Internet and in a variety of digital forms, CDs and DVDs have become pretty much obsolete and just take up space. If you like, download them to a some digital device or your computer hard-drive. Your old collections can then be donated to thrift shops or sold in your next yard sale.
Tip 3 - Clothing You Don't Wear
Note the clothes you wear all the time. These you want to keep. But the old clothes that you’ve held onto and haven’t worn in years need to go. You can donate these or “re-gift” them to someone you know who can use them. You can reduce the size of dresser you need when you reduce your wardrobe to those cloths you actually wear during a given month.
Tip 4 - Sports Gear
If you have unused sports, health, and exercise equipment taking up space in your home, you are not alone. It’s become a proverbial joke to find almost new exercise equipment in every garage sale. Now that can be you. If you don’t use it then you need to lose it.
Tip 5 - Miscellaneous Knick-Knacks
If you’re like most people, you probably have a large collection of souvenir items, memorabilia, and other things you’ve held onto because they had sentimental value at one time. Now they just take up space and collect dust. Mark these for disposal. Donate or recycle these things if they have any material value
Tip 6 - Luggage
In reality, you only need one good suitcase, one carry-on type bag, and - for women - a purse, or two. If you need to, invest in a few quality pieces that will last a long while. And know that there is always a market for your excess bags at local thrift stores.
Tip 7 - Appliances
For example, you might reconsider your need for a microwave. The growing assortment of toasters, blenders, mixers, electric grills, and so on, can be narrowed down, as well. Minimizing kitchen utensils to just the essentials and investing in high quality ones will be beneficial, too. Some appliances you may still feel the need to keep, but seriously consider whether you can live without them first.
Tip 8 - The “One-Year Rule”
This rule states that "If you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably wont use it the next year. " For many people this can include a great deal of otherwise nice things that will be hard to part with. If that's the case, then try this approach: Place those things in storage. If you don't need or use them within six months, then divest yourself of those items. Give them away, sell them if you can, or dispose of them.
Tip 9 - Sell What You Can
For many of the things you want to get rid of, a great approach is to have a yard sale or two, or if you have a lot to sell quickly, consider a estate sale service to take care of it for you. You can make use of sites like Craigslist and eBay to sell items of value, look to consignment shops for selling your used designer clothing. All of these tactics can take time, but this is where you can cash in on your downsizing efforts.
Tip 10 - Call for Junk Removal
Eventually, you may find that after all of the donations are made, yard sales are done, and Craigslist or eBay has been exhausted, you still have things to get rid of. This is when you need to find a reliable junk removal firm to come take these things off your hands.
Whether you are moving to smaller living space or simply want to de-clutter and simplify your current space by downsizing, these tips will get you well on your way to a lifestyle unburdened with excessive material goods and junk.
Getting Professional Help for the Junk Removal Phase of Your Downsizing
When it comes to getting rid of clutter and junk removal needs, you should work with a company that is punctual, patient, and respectful while treating you with genuine care.
Whether you are moving out or simply downsizing your current living space, we can help. In addition to our regular residential junk removal services, our estate clean out services are used by landlords, attorneys, banks and homeowners who need to dispose of unneeded and unwanted items, junk and clutter that might prevent or slow down the process of moving on to a smaller home.
Our team also specializes in large debris removal and furniture hauling. We can be on location in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.