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February 13, 2013

Independent Living: More Tips for Reducing Clutter Before Downsizing

When we’'re young and raising families, it makes sense to save all kinds of things. We hang onto our children’'s favorite toys and start amassing boxes of school papers and treasured art work. We collect jars of odd-sized screws and nails that may some day come in handy. We save old magazines, reams of construction paper, and tubs of broken crayons just in case they’'re needed for a future school project. 

Switching Gears 

By the time we’re ready to downsize and say good-bye to home maintenance chores, our attics and basements are stuffed with boxes of outgrown clothes and toys, Christmas decorations we haven’'t used in years, and bits and pieces of everyday life – all of which must go before we move. 

Cutting Clutter 

Today, we continue our list of tips on clearing out the clutter before you sell your home: 

  • As you sort through your possessions, make an effort to handle each item only once. Every time you pick up an item, force yourself to decide whether you want to keep it, give it to a family member, donate it, or toss it out.
  • Don’t let yourself get bogged down trying to make up your mind. If you can’t make a decision, place items you want to think about in a separate box and come back to them later. Your goal is to keep moving as you pack up each room.
  • Be realistic in your expectations. Recognize that paring down your possessions is hard work and it is normal to have conflicting emotions about making a lifestyle change. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a break and come back to the task later in the day or start fresh the next morning. 

For even more useful tips on downsizing your home, click here to download our free “Top 10 Downsizing Survival Tips


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