For many, the thought of organizing or downsizing sounds daunting; where to begin, how much time will it take, will I regret giving away the things I once treasured? Making a plan that involves simple and short segments of downsizing time will make a huge impact over the course of the year. Here are a few suggestions to get you started and feeling more organized and less weighed down by the things you no longer need or want.
Grab a notebook and pen, walk into each room of your home including your basement and garage, and just scan the room. Quickly, make notes of the things you see:
- Are they in good shape?
- Do you still like them?
- Do you have too many of them (blankets, pillows, knickknacks, spatulas, wooden spoons, teacups…)?
- What do you always use in that room?
- What do you NEVER use?
Be honest, if the item is in bad shape it’s time to toss it, how many kitchen towels do you need? if it’s something you never use but feel guilty giving it away, it might be a gift you received from someone you love, but it’s not your style or something you would use, find comfort in knowing someone else would appreciate your donation.
Now the fun part, you will need three paper bags per room, a three-bedroom home with garage and basement may have 9 rooms in total (27 bags, save your paper bags from the store).
Label 9 bags “trash”, 9 bags “donate” and 9 bags “family & friends”
Put a set of 3 bags (trash, donate, family & friends) in each room of your home – everyday take a walk through each room and decide what can go into the bags. Day one you may only have one thing in the bag, but as the weeks go by you start to realize you don’t need everything in your room and disposing of those items will become easier.
After 4 weeks take the bags and do what the label says, throw out the items that are in bad shape and need to be tossed. The bag labeled donate can go to a local charity or thrift store, just google for locations in your area and drop the bag off. The bag for family & friends, if they are close by drop it off with a note sharing why you’d like them to have the item, they’ll enjoy receiving something that you cherished and can now be used by them.
Start the process over again the next month. Why? Because if you stay focused on only saving what you need, what you love, and what fits nicely in your space, before you know it your home will be organized and filled with things that truly matter to you. It will also change the way you shop, only purchasing items that you really need or bring you joy. As time goes on the reduction on things in your home lightens your life and brightens your day.