As the new year rolls around we often hear the word “start” – start over, fresh start, head start, jump-start, start up. These phrases all indicate that some thing or some action is moving forward. Although “start” does not imply when the action will be completed, it does indicate advancing progress.

“Start” is also an important action word associated with downsizing or moving. Many people seem to think that these happenings are just events, when actually they are processes that require time, often lots of time.

Whether downsizing is on your calendar already or it is just a thought rambling around in your head, now is the time to start the process! The sooner you start downsizing, the more time you will have to make the many necessary decisions and take the appropriate actions. Beginning far enough in advance will prevent a rushed feeling and its accompanying stress. It allows time for you to consider the many options, the advantages and disadvantages of those options, and then to make wise choices.

Starting the downsizing process does not need to change your lifestyle or your house arrangement. It simply requires taking a few minutes each day or week to look at an area of your home. Start with small areas like a drawer, a shelf, or a box and challenge yourself to think honestly about the items in that area.

*Think about what you value. Do the items fit with your life stage or style?
*Consider the quantity of items. Can you reduce the amount and still have enough for your current needs?
*Look at their quality. Are they in good condition, will they serve their purpose well, and are they really something worth holding on to?

As you begin this process, create a “to go” box and keep it close by. As you make decisions, use this box as a place to collect all the items for donation or sale. You may want a small box in each room, so you can place items in it as soon as you make a decision. As you work your way through the house, continue to add items to these boxes.

When the boxes are full or at the end of each week, sort the items you have collected into piles for different donation or sale locations. Don’t allow them to sit around and interfere with your home’s operations or weigh down your mental well-being. Instead, deliver these collected items or have them picked up, and you can enjoy the rewarding and freeing feeling of making progress towards your goal.

Downsizing is a process that takes time, and as we progress into this new year, your goal should be to start!

© 2021 Beth Giles    

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