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What to Discard When Downsizing

If you’ve ever undergone a move where you’ve had to downsize, you’re probably familiar with the newfound challenge of organizing your excess belongings. We grow attached to our personal items, so it’s generally a tough decision about what to keep, what to store, and what to discard when you’ve realized there isn’t enough room for everything in your new space. Luckily, Lindsay Schauer of Medium has shared with us a list of things she found were easy to part with in her article titled “Eight Things You Can Discard to Downsize Your Life.” This article gives us some good ideas of what to get rid of when it comes time to downsize, and also lends us some piece of mind when you realize you can lighten the load in some of these areas, even if you aren’t going through a downsize.

Where to Begin When Decluttering

According to Schauer, she started her personal decluttering process with memorabilia.
  1. Old cheap medals from an event you participated in ages ago, or knickknacks gifted to you from a friend’s vacation fall under this category. Chances are, these items aren’t needed to remember something you did when you were younger, so they make the perfect items to donate or toss.
  2. Next on the declutter list is old clothing. Take a long look at what you have in your closet, and determine the last time it’s been worn, the next time you plan on wearing it, and go from there. Here, you can put your pile of old t-shirts at the top of the list.
  3. Schauer recommends looking at your CDs and DVD collection. Everything these days is available digitally, and you can easily copy all of your CDs and movies onto your computer or an external hard drive, so there’s an opportunity here to declutter your space by only keeping digital copies.
  4. Books are similar, but a bit trickier to navigate. Electronic book lovers won’t have an issue here, but for those of us who love holding the physical copy of a book need to take some extra time to determine what can be left behind. If it holds sentimental value to you or is signed by the author, keep it. Also, if you plan on reading it soon, or read it regularly, it stays. Everything else on your bookshelf is fair game to donate.
  5. Old sporting equipment, baggage, and kitchen gadgets are other collections to focus on. Keep in mind, you may even be able to sell some of your old belongings.
  6. Baggage can also be easily consolidated and downsized as long as you're willing to let go. Even the most fashion conscious of us should only need one suitcase, one bag and possibly a few purses. The rest can go to Goodwill or your local thrift store.
  7. Finally, we come to the kitchen. Schauer says it best, “the best food is fresh and only requires your two hands and a few simple tools.” So get rid of that old food processor, buy one, really good knife and enjoy the extra space.

Not Everything Needs to be Donated or Recycled

Lastly, if you find something that may not have a use, and may not even be particularly attractive, but is important to you, then keep it. Surround yourself with the things you love, especially if you have a warm memory attached to it.

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