Downsizing refers to more than moving into a smaller place to live. You can downsize your belongings, your house, your office and your time commitments. As your San Diego Professional Organizer I recommend that you consider the 5 W’s of Downsizing:

  • Why,
  • When,
  • Where,
  • What and
  • How to downsize?

Downsizing | Why, when

There are an abundance of reasons and advantages that you may be thinking about downsizing. Read: Advantages of downsizing your home You don’t have to wait until retirement, in fact, you may want to focus more on your career and less on home maintenance. Which one of these applies to you now or in the near future?

  • Need more space
  • Health and safety reasons; respond to changing physical needs
  • Reduce maintenance, less stuff and clutter, less dusting, cleaning and polishing
  • Lifestyle changes; you entertain differently, want to be outdoors more, travel more
  • Reduce spending
  • Desire a quieter location
  • Proximity to amenities, shopping – less driving
  • Save time

It may be the right time for downsizing if any one of these factors are important to you.

Downsizing | Where, what

Stack of papers
Stack of papers ( Scott Chan)

Downsizing, where do you begin? Avoid feeling overwhelmed by starting early (before you have to). You can downsize 3 major areas:

  1. Your stuff
  2. Your space
  3. Your time management

Here’s an organizing checklist for downsizing:

Your stuff

Dispose of items you haven’t (and will never) use:

  • Old, damaged gift wrap
  • Expired foods and medications (proper disposal, don’t flush),
  • Clothing that is stained, cannot be repaired
  • Papers that need to be shred
Create files ( Stuart Miles)

Donate (items that are in usable condition):

  • Unopened, non perishable foods, spices
  • Clothing that doesn’t fit; accessories
  • Working electronic and household appliances
  • Books, magazines
  • Office supplies
  • Unopened toiletries, feminine hygiene products
  • Gifts
  • Linens
  • Old children’s items such as clothing, toys, furniture
  • Sports, recreational equipment
  • Decorative items
  • Luggage
  • Get rid of long term, offsite storage
Empty calendar
Empty calendar ( Paladin13)

Your space

  • Single level residence, reduce stair climbing
  • Less square footage
  • Reevaluate living space – do you need a formal dining or living room? How many guest rooms or home offices do you really need?
  • Reduce, eliminate outdoor maintenance
  • Consider the advantages of renting

Time Management; your schedule and to-do’s

  • Get off of Boards, committees, etc. that no longer fulfill you
  • Balance work, family and self care
  • Reduce, eliminate chores, tasks that you don’t have to do
  • Hire outside services to do things that you don’t want to do
  • Cluster errands
  • schedule standing appointments
  • Confirm appointments

Downsizing | How

Downsizing is a process that takes time and planning.

  • Recruit help
  • Delegate
  • Have a plan
  • Dedicate time to downsize
  • Start with the easy things
  • Learn to set boundaries and say no

Let me know if I can assist you with your downsizing needs, it’s what I do!

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