Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rewards of Downsizing

How do you start letting go of items you have collected all during your life? It is not an easy process to begin. Many times people equate their possessions with their identity. I have had clients tell me they keep things so that they can show that they were someone once. I encourage them to look forward to who they want to be now and in the future.

Downsizing is best done when there is no deadline looming - no pressure to make a lot of decisions in a hurry. When you look over your possessions and make your decisions at your own pace, you can feel in control.

Ask family members to help out. Take time to discuss your reasons for downsizing with your family and see it there are items they want to keep. You may well have been storing some of your children's possessions for years. See if they want them now.

Sharing your possessions and the stories behind them can bring you closer to your family. Reminisce as you look over items you may not have really looked at for years. Going through old papers and pictures can be a wonderful trip down memory lane. Then the decisions can be made - give away, shred, toss, or keep. A good plan is to chose a container for the pictures/cards/letters and then allow yourself to keep as many as will fit in that container. Also know that this process can be repeated again later and you will then be ready to let go of more items at that point in time.

When you sort items in your kitchen or family room you will probably discover that you have kept items that you have not used for years. What about that big soup pot, the clue game, or the VHS tapes? Do they fit your current life style or are they just hanging around because they have always been stored there?

Sorting your clothes and accessories will also be enlightening. If you haven't used something in the last few years, give it to people who will need and appreciate it.

As you continually go through this downsizing process, you will notice that less stuff gives you more freedom, more time, and less upkeep. You will probably feel happier in your open clear area than you have in years!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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