Downsizing: What NOT To Declutter

Believe it or not, there are actually some things that you should NOT declutter, when you are downsizing. It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to unload all the excess stuff in your home. This, however, can lead to bad decisions and regret.

It’s important to remember that ultimately organizing is not about sorting out your stuff. It’s about organizing your priorities. Everybody has different priorities and priorities are always changing. When you are selling your home, your priority is to show an uncluttered house. And if you are downsizing, your priority is to take less stuff with you to your new home. So Items that perhaps you enjoyed as recently as a year ago, may have a lower priority in this scenario.

Reducing those items will make it easier to sell your home and easier to move on to a smaller home. However, it easy to lose sight of whether the purging process is actually serving your priorities. Here are some examples of when you may actually be purging too much.

1. small things

If you want to test your purging muscles, focus on the larger items first. Reducing larger items will make the biggest difference in showing your home and in settling into a smaller one. Don’t stress out as much over the smaller items. Yes, if you have an excess of smaller items you need to unload what you can, but it’s less urgent. If you have kept too many, they are easier to unload later, than larger items.

2. keepsakes

Decluttering your home is an emotional process. The items we tend to get most emotional about are keepsakes. These are items that we are keeping for sentimental reasons. You may see downsizing as a great opportunity to purge keepsakes, that you have been meaning to unload for years. However it is best to save these for last. Keepsakes are your most irreplaceable items. Remember, the point is, to get rid of the things that are getting in the  way of your priorities. So while your keepsakes shouldn’t be on display, you don’t have to discard your memories. And again, be more forgiving with the smaller items!

3. files

Don’t get me wrong. There’s typically a lot of paper that we can get rid of when downsizing. But don’t lose sight of your priorities. The point is not to get rid of all your paper, only the excess. The best candidates are going to be your oldest sleeping filesNow is not the time to hastily clean out your sitting and running files.

4. cardboard boxes

This may sound obvious, but I have seen clients hurry to discard cardboard boxes to demonstrate dramatic progress. Don’t. Those are useful for containing items to donate. Moreover, it may be easier to toss boxes of junk into the dumpster. Take a moment to pour the contents out and retrieve the box, for the same reason.

Not your last opportunity

It is easy to lose sight, that this is that this won’t be the last time you declutter.  Why? Because this is not the last time that your priorities will change. So relieve yourself of the pressure to  make the perfect keep or toss decision. Focus instead on just your priority so sell this house and live comfortably in the next one. That’s enough! You don’t need to suddenly become an insane purging machine. Remember that you are purging to benefit you, not some arbitrary standard.

You may have noticed that a consistent reason to modify your purging, is to prevent regrets. Don’t bring regrets into your new home.  We feature a regret free process. If this makes sense to you and you need help, you might want to consider our services, when downsizing.

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