In 2017, only 11% of Americans moved. It is the lowest move rate since the Census Bureau started tracking in 1948. It's a fact that people are staying in their homes longer than ever before. But, are they keeping their home clutter-free? Probably not. Many homeowners rent space in a storage facility to get rid of stuff they don't want in their homes, which results in excess spending, excess material, and excess stress. Visit this post about the stats on Clutter. It's an eye-opener.
Know this; you can stay in your existing home and be clutter-free. This week, we are talking about downsizing your home without moving. Yes, that's right, WITHOUT MOVING.
Downsizing is not just for older individuals. It is a process for anyone who is sick and tired of not enjoying their home. Think of downsizing as lightening up the load in your home and heart. Doesn't that sound more uplifting? I propose that you think of the process of downsizing as "enlightening" to lighten up your life. Now, let's begin the process of enlightening without moving.
First, schedule your time to declutter. Pick a time during the week that you consistently have nothing to do. Maybe it's a time when you are watching a movie or taking a nap. It can be on the weekends or during the week - whichever works best for you.
Then, determine what the trigger is that stops you from finishing the job. These triggers are things like seeing memorabilia that reminds you of loss. Seeing an expensive item that reminds you how much you spent on it. Anything that gives you pause to take action. Now, make up a way to combat that obstacle. You need to have the strength to get through these areas. Making up a saying or phrase to remind you that you can get rid of stuff is just one way of dealing with your obstacles. Another is taking a picture of the things you may treasure, but don't want any longer. Keeping a digital folder to store these photos called "Stuff I enjoyed" will help too.
Below are additional tips that will help you downsize the home right now.
10 Things to Do to Reduce the Clutter in Your Home Right Now
- Make a commitment when you bring one item in, you give away or get rid of one piece. If you don't do this, you become a collector, not a minimalist. To remind yourself to do this, hang a sign, write a note, and read it every time you bring something into the home.
- Clear out the closets. The closets are a place we all store stuff we don't use. So, keeping these areas cleared of clutter will eliminate your things in the home.
- Teach the kids to give away toys they don't use or want any longer. Read this post "Explaining Needing and Wanting to kids" for tips on how to show your kids the difference between needs and wants.
- Books are dust collectors. Only keep the ones you may reference. If you love your books, commit to taking care of them. Dust them each week. The more you have, the more time it will take to take care of them.
- Have a giveaway box in the garage for those items you don't know if you want to give away right now. Place it in a box and revisit it in six months. If you don't need it within the six months timeframe, you probably can get rid of it without any regret.
- Clear the kitchen clutter: For kitchen supplies, leave out the pans you regularly use for one week. Anything left in the cabinet can be reviewed and donated.
- Make shredding old documents an evening event while watching TV. Pull out boxes that are older than three years (7 years of you were audited). Start purging. Be sure to shred sensitive documents. Visit the IRS page called "How long should I keep records?"
- Assign clearing out various seasonal areas. For areas that tend to collect items through the seasons, like the shed, visit these areas at the end of the seasons to clear them up.
- Get rid of old unused furniture that may be cluttering up rooms. You may not need more than one table in your home. You may have two sofas and only use one because the other one is on the floor you don't visit any longer.
- Reduce the clothes to only the ones you wear. If you are looking to have a minimalist wardrobe, visit this post "The Minimalist Wardrobe: How to Love All Your Clothes."
Feel free to visit our other downsizing posts for more tips and inspiration to downsize your home.
Remember that it will take time to minimize your home, especially if you have many areas to declutter. But, rest assured if you stay consistent and work at it each week, you will see a transformation. I've worked with the clients doing entire house decluttering, and it took about nine months to 1 year working every week for 4 hours. It is possible, and it will transform your life.
I hope this helps you get inspired to downsize or enlighten your existing home. What is your favorite way to declutter your home? Please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.