6 Tips When Downsizing

Here are six tips for organising and/or downsizing your life to live comfortably in a cosier space.

TIP 1: Plan ahead
Don't wait to make decisions. Start planning your downsizing early and set goals. For couples and families, make sure everyone is on the same page to eliminate conflicts and hurt feelings down the road.

TIP 2: Determine your lifestyle needs
It helps to ask yourself some questions. Think about what lifestyle you want to embrace as you move forward, suggests professional organiser Mary Dykstra, CPO, president-elect for NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and owner of Within Reach Organizing Services.
Do you have room for oversized furniture in your new space?
If you are moving, how much smaller is your new home?
Do you feel you should keep something just because you spent a lot of money for it?

TIP 3: Find purpose
Regarding sentimental items, take photographs of your old home and belongings to preserve memories. This can be especially helpful for children who don't want to let go of an old stuffed animal or dolls.

TIP 4: Keep clutter out
Edit your technology. Use a printer that connects to Wi-Fi to eliminate extra cables and choose a TV that mounts to the wall, so you don't need a media centre that takes up valuable floor space.
Use smart storage solutions in your smaller space. For example, a table cloth can re-purpose an older table and give you a way to "hide" things from plain sight. Or use a piece of your china collection that seems too large to store as a pencil holder in your home office or for makeup storage in your bathroom.

TIP 5: Think quality and multipurpose
Hamilton says you need to go for quality over quantity. Choose a great piece of furniture that makes a statement, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room.
If you’re investing in new furniture when you downsize, choose multipurpose furniture pieces. Go for nightstands with open and closed storage and ottomans with tops that lift to offer space inside for blankets or extra pillows.
Look for durable fabrics, since a smaller home often requires flexible spaces that have to do double duty as an office, extra bedroom or playspace.

TIP 6: When in doubt, get an objective opinion
Accept help in sorting and packing your belongings. Consider hiring a professional organiser who can offer an objective opinion when you're trying to decide what you really need to eliminate or donate to charity.