A New Concept in Independent Living

Finding the Right Fit

6 dos and don’ts for downsizing and rightsizing

If you read our most recent blog, then you already know a little bit about the rising popularity of minimalism. One survey found that 56% of their responders would consider living in a tiny house, and 84% of that group said they’d consider a tiny house as a retirement living option.

While small-space living isn’t ideal for everyone, most of us have likely experienced the desire to downsize or clean out some of the things we’ve accumulated. After all, the older we get, the more time we have to amass “stuff.”

Whether you’re planning a move to a smaller dwelling or just want to get rid of some of the clutter in your life, starting the cleaning process can be daunting.


Here are 6 dos and don’ts for downsizing, rightsizing, or otherwise organizing your things.


Do: Start as soon as you can

You have a large task ahead of you, so the sooner you can get started, the better. For many of us, breaking through inertia to begin a difficult task is the hardest part. So, if you’ve made the decision to start the work of decluttering, get to it!

However…


Don’t: Overwhelm yourself

Going through all of your belongings is no small feat. What might start off as a well-intended cleanout can easily lead to your space feeling more cluttered than ever.

Start small and take it room by room. You can even break it down further by tackling one part of the room, or even one piece of furniture at a time. For large fixtures like dressers or counters, try emptying out one drawer and going through all of its contents before moving on to another. Progress is progress, no matter how small.


Do: Find new homes for sentimental items

Even famous organizer Marie Kondo recognizes how difficult it can be to let go of sentimental things. But the truth is, it just isn’t feasible to try to keep every little thing that has a special meaning to you.

With still-practical items such as antique furniture, you can pass them along to other members of your family who would love the pieces as much as you do.

Paper goods like ticket stubs and postcards can be digitized with the help of a cell phone or tablet camera. The same goes for old photographs. Business Insider suggests writing the names of everyone in the photo on the back, digitizing it, and then giving the physical copy to whoever is in it.


Don’t: Save everything for others

As previously mentioned, it isn’t feasible to keep every item tied to a special memory, so you can’t expect your friends and family to be willing recipients of all of your hand-me-downs. You also can’t set aside things that young family members “might want” someday. Sure, your future grandchildren might want your antique kitchen gadgets, but they also might grow up to prefer takeout to cooking.

If you can’t find a home for all of your sentimental items, don’t despair. The official KonMari website assures us that, “mementos are not memories.” In the same way that you can save old photographs, you can take a photo of the item as a way of holding onto the special moments it represents before selling or donating.


Do: Keep your lifestyle in mind

Let’s face it, our lifestyles change over time. Interests come and go, and different chapters of our lives bring about different needs. With that in mind, it’s only logical to let go of the things we either aren’t using or have no reason to use anymore. If you haven’t been to a baseball game in the last 10 years, you may not need that old glove anymore. If you’re planning to move to a place like Prime West Knoxville that has a fitness center on site, you can let go of your workout equipment.


Don’t: Refill your space with new stuff

You’ve just spent a lot of time and effort carefully purging your belongings, so now is not the time to hit the mall for a shopping spree.

However, that’s not to say that you’ll never need new things again. As you sort through your belongings, take inventory of what you have and what might need to be replaced. For instance, if you decided to finally ditch your worn out sneakers, it might be wise to invest in a new pair if you think you’ll need them. On the other hand, paring down your winter coat collection to one or two of your favorite pieces is not an excuse to go buy ten new coats to replace the old. Use common sense to guide your future purchases, and you’ll be golden.


Thinking about starting fresh in a smaller living space? Give us a call at (865) 276-8163 or visit our website to schedule a tour of one of our apartments.

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