Take decluttering, downsizing step by step
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/05/2021 (740 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
If you’re planning a move or just want to simplify your life, start by getting rid of what you don’t need, according to Lisa Sinnicks, The Seniors Moving Company, who led a Zoom workshop on decluttering and downsizing for the South Winnipeg Senior Resources Council.
Downsizing is a process whereby you reduce things and space to make day-to-day life simpler, Sinnicks says. It’s a balance between managing the belongings you have and what you need to make your home your home.
You need a strategy for downsizing, she points out. When you touch a piece of paper you need to make a decision about it. Anything that is updated annually (like property taxes) you can get rid of the last copy. When tackling areas like a linen closet, get rid of what you’re not using any more. Sheets, for example, can be donated to a pet rescue. In the kitchen, sort through pots and pans. If you have two sets, keeps the one you use.
Have a box open and as soon as you fill it, tape it up and start on the next one. Otherwise you may go back in and change your mind about items you’ve discarded.
Items that have a sentimental value — like your china cabinet — may be more difficult to part with. Take an inventory of what’s in your china cabinet. Keep your favourite pieces and give the rest away as gifts. Some china is valuable so you may want to sell it. Take photographs of pieces that have sentimental value. You don’t have to keep all of your photographs in albums — put them on the computer. If you want to save prints, decorative boxes work well for storing photos.
Decluttering is getting rid of items that take up space — particularly important if you are getting ready to sell your house. Minimizing items can increase the value of your house because it allows potential buyers to see how their own “stuff” will look in the house, Sinnicks says. Again, start by taking an inventory of the things you have; photograph them so you have memories.
You may be able to repurpose some items, she suggests. For example you can break up a dining room set and keep a piece — the buffet, for example — to use as a TV stand.
Depending on the item, you may be able to sell it through buyers/consignments or you can donate it to a charitable organization.
There’s a pattern to decluttering: start small and do some every day. Have boxes and wrap ready so you can put items into a box. It’s a step-by-step process but you have to start in order to finish. The best advice about decluttering when selling your home is give yourself lots of time — don’t wait until a month before possession.
For a list of organizations that accept donations, go to seniorsmovingco.com and click on resources.
Charleswood community correspondent
Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.