Downsizing your home 101 – Where do I start?

When I started to consider downsizing my home, well I mean the items in my home, the task seemed a bit daunting. I had a lot of things and I had no idea where to start and how to go about it. If I start with the big areas first then I will see results right away but I will also be overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes. If I start small I might become discouraged by the lack of results I see.

1. Find Your Sore Spot and Work One Chunk at a Time on It

So I started on the big areas but I made a stipulation with myself that I was not going to do the whole area all in one day. I would take a little chunk on each day, sorting through it and then move on.
Because I am a huge reader, I had a huge book collection. That was my sore spot. I had all these books but I did not have the space for them. I needed a mini library for all the literature I owned. Half my living room was taken up by a bookcase that had books stacked two to three deep and that was not even all of them.

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To start, I would pull a section of books out each day and determine which ones I really wanted to keep and which ones I would sell/donate.

It was a grueling process but I was seeing the results each day. Little by little my bookcase became a less full and next thing I knew I was able to put things on it that were not books, like a decoration or something. VICTORY!

Today when you walk into my living room there is no bookcase what-so-ever.

2. Start With the Front Rooms First

We always read about cleaning out our closets and kitchen drawers. Which need to be done. But I tend to think in terms of a stranger coming into my house. What do they see first? How does it appear to them? I don’t want a huge eye sore welcoming people into my home. So when I clean, organize or downsize I start where they would start, in the front rooms.

Go stand at your front door and look around. What do you see? Is it pleasing to the eye? or is it cluttered, disorganized and chaotic? If so then start there. Every time you walk into your house it will feel good and will keep you motivated to continue throughout the rest of the home.

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3. Stick With What you See, then Move to the Unseen

If your home is over cluttered it is likely you do not have room in the closets and drawers of your home and things have begun to leach out into other areas of the home. Like the mail has grown from the office desk to the dining room table and kitchen counter. Or the toys have multiplied from the toy box to piles throughout the room because you don’t know where to put them anymore.

Some people recommend cleaning a surface completely off then putting only the essentials back. Others do a basket method. It really doesn’t matter what method you want to use just start with the visible items in the home. Clear them off and then move to the not so visible areas like drawer and closets.

Remember you want to walk around your home and feel good. If you already have stuff all over your surfaces then it doesn’t make sense to dump a drawer or closet out and start there. It will only add to the clutter already surrounding you.

Just writing this post has motivated me to work on a couple of items in my home that I need to take care of, like some more books that have surfaced. Yikes! and some toys that the girls have grown out of.

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