The process of downsizing can be daunting and overwhelming. You may be asking yourself: How do I even get started? What do I keep and what do I give away or donate? What happens to my keepsakes and personal items?
This blog is how my husband Jacob and I downsized from our 3,000 square foot home to a 25 foot travel trailer...
At the start of COVID in April 2020 we stopped doing travel contracts and moved across the country back home to be closer to family. We bought a house and quickly discovered we did not have enough furniture, decorations, outdoor supplies and miscellaneous odds and ends for our new house. After two years, we had styled every room with the perfect furniture, cozied up the sun room with a carefree vibe (it even had a chair swing), filled the garage with essential tools and then some, accumulated enough kitchen supplies to cook for a large restaurant, stuffed our closets with excess clothes and shoes, and filled our basement storage closets to the maximum capacity.
We then decided we needed to downsize. Simply put: we had way too much stuff. After much consideration, we decided to sell our house to live fulltime in a camper and return to travel therapy. The new challenge we faced was selecting less than a quarter of our belongings to move with us.
The following Six Tips & Tricks are what we utilized that helped us during the downsizing process:
1. Start Downsizing Now
We started by making separate groups/lists for deciding what would be thrown away, donated, sold or kept. After that have a yard sale, estate sale, or online auction. We did not have time to go through all of our household items prior to moving, so we posted an estate sale event on a multitude of facebook pages. We kept the majority of items in their original place with a price sticker. We had people walk through our house and pick the items they wanted. We found that people bought most of our items inside/staged rather than outside in our driveway or garage. After we finished selling everything we thought we could, we did another round of donations and let friends come by and take whatever they wanted.
2. Clothes & Shoes
Going through your whole closet can seem like a stressful task. It may be cliche, but I used Marie Kondo's technique from the Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
3. Sentimental Items
4. Declutter & Digitalize
Go through your important documents.
5. Consider the Size and Storage of Your New Space
Think about the space you are moving to. Your change may not be as dramatic as ours but this will play a large factor on which items make the cut.
6. Kitchen Utensils
At the end of the day, downsizing is a mindset. It is important to remember that stuff is just that…stuff.
Written By: Natalie Azzarito
Travel Occupational Therapist & MedVenturist