Looking to Downsize? 3 Tips for Managing All Your Stuff

By: Caron Shaw, ABR, SRS, SRES

Looking to Downsize? 3 Tips for Managing All Your Stuff

Tags: Looking to Downsize? 3 Tips for Managing All Your Stuff

Or, do you feel burdened by the amount of stuff you own and just want to trash it all?

Let’s take a step back and alleviate the pain of either holding on to too much stuff, or wanting to toss everything as an easy way out.

There are options.

If you are burdened by the amount of stuff you own but can’t imagine living without all of it, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get attached to every little thing you own, especially when they remind you of beautiful milestones in your life. Letting go of items doesn’t mean those moments are lost.

We live in a world that (for the most part) only values you as a person if you are consistently buying and consuming stuff. Even the size of our homes are often calculated based on the amount of stuff we own. Large corporations see us simply as consumers, not individuals, and do everything in their power to ensure we continue buying and throwing to keep the economy thriving. 

What’s so beautiful about that?

Less is more.

The conscious consumer and minimalist lifestyle is becoming trendier than ever (and for good reason!) as more people take on Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method. This includes examining every item you own and asking yourself “does this spark joy?” If it does not, the goal is to eliminate it from your life. 

Now, for those thinking “YES! Get rid of it all!”, let me stop you there.

Just because it no longer has value to you, doesn’t mean it needs to be thrown away. 

You can easily maximize the lifespan of items that no longer serve their purpose for you by:

It’s how you can do your part in contributing to a circular economy. 

That being said, here’s a hard truth: the more stuff you own, the bigger the moving van you need to hire. Why not cut off ties with items that “don’t spark joy” now before making your next big move?

To help you get started, here are 3 tips for managing years of accumulated belongings that will make you feel good about downsizing, excited to move on, and reconnected to items that do bring you joy.

1. List and evaluate what you own

Can’t decide what shouldn’t be hitching a ride with you on your next move?

It’s often that we get so used to living with the things we own, we forget what doesn’t hold value for us anymore. For example, it’s common to own a toaster and a toaster oven, or a stove top kettle and an electric kettle. Seems silly when it’s laid out in front of you, right?

Making a list of everything you own and categorizing it by room, from living room to kitchen, bedroom to bathroom, you can easily start to see any repetition in things you own and identify if “they spark joy”, or provide value to your lifestyle anymore. From there you can decide what needs to go.

When eliminating things from your belongings, go through this checklist before discarding:

2. Digitize your memories

Do you have piles of photobooks and scattered photos that stay tucked away in boxes?

The best way to declutter space is to digitize as much as you can, specifically photos and important paperwork. 

The best part about digitizing your memories is that you don’t need to be tech savvy to do it. There are services that are able to do it for you, including local photoshops and large chain electronic stores like Best Buy or Staples. 

If you aren’t up for investing in the service, try your hand at scanning everything onto your computer or a USB stick (get help from your kids or neighbours if needed). Upload all your photos and files to free online platforms such as Shutterfly, Google Drive, or Dropbox. This way your memories always stay accessible and easy to flip through once they are nicely categorized in folders.

When disposing of photos, you can always gift them to loved ones and friends. When disposing of important documents and paperwork, be sure to shred. There are local companies across the GTA that are able to help you with this. All it takes is a quick Google search.

3. Repair or recycle

Do you tend to toss and replace rather than repair and recycle?

It’s time to toss that mindset. Imagine how much money you could save if you spent the time to repair broken electronics or mend torn clothing instead of constantly buying new?

Your computer can always be repaired with the help of new pieces, like a hard drive or battery. Your television screen can always be replaced. Your sliced wooden table can always be upcycled into other wood furniture and home accessories. 

By simply switching your mindset from toss to treasure, you can make a massive impact on the environment while ensuring only items that “spark joy” come along with you as you downsize and thrive.

Ready to take the next step in downsizing your home?
Let’s chat to see what options in Caledon will best suit your next move.