Moving? Downsizing? It’s time to declutter, simplify and store!
Downsizing, even if only temporarily, makes you re-evaluate the need for many items you have held onto for years. Do you really want them? Need them? Use them? Here is how you can manage downsizing your home.
Do those ‘precious things’ make the cut?
Parents hold onto treasured pictures, toys and blankets from their kids’ childhood. Often the sentimental value of these items guarantees they are transported from house to house for years, without any real plans for them to be anything more than a memory. Downsizing forces you to make a choice; here are a few ways you can decide what to do with the kids’ things.
When downsizing temporarily, the decision isn’t as important; however, it is the perfect time to do a small clear-out and declutter some of the unopened boxes.
- Make a list—know what YOU want to keep, what your KIDS want to keep and throw out or store the rest.
- If your children are young—keep out their favourite belongings so you don’t have to search through your self-storage unit when they cry endlessly for days wanting their beloved teddy.
It is too good to throw but we don’t need it
This is a common problem people face. You have held onto it for years because it is too good or too special to throw away but you no longer have a need for the old clothes, teddy bears or toys.
- Pass it onto the kids—Depending on the ages of your children, they could possibly start having kids of their own in the next few years and their old furniture could be a welcome addition for them. Items such as cots, dressers and even beds will add sentimental value to their baby room and save them money.
- Pay it forward—Your kids may not want the items you have so generously saved for them, which means you have all these objects sitting around gathering dust. Consider paying it forward to someone in need: new parents or even a government childcare centre, someone who may appreciate the gift. Preschools always welcome toys, LEGO and books!
- Sell it—If you don’t want to give it away for free, sell it! Perhaps the pieces you have saved and stored are now considered vintage and will bring in some useful extra dollars.
Pictures, paintings and reports
Parents hold onto these pieces of papers for decades, long after the white paper has begun to yellow. This is not an exaggeration; the sentimental value mothers hold for these items makes it difficult for them to discard. Reality is however, what are you going to do with 13 years of drawings, paintings and school reports? Go through them and if you have to keep some, ensure they are REALLY worth keeping.
Regardless whether you are downsizing temporarily while building a house, searching for the ‘right’ home or you have become empty nesters, self-storage is a great option to hold onto those items you want to keep but don’t have room for. Implement the following to make the move easier:
- Label every box with its contents. If it is fragile then add this in a noticeable colour so it is not missed, poorly treated or broken.
- Pack to protect—use bubble wrap for fragile items, wrap glasses in paper, and, should you be saving teddies, clothing and blankets, it is advised that these are vacuum-sealed in storage bags. This will minimise space and protect them against bad odours.
- Sort boxes into categories and stack them accordingly in the storage unit. This will make it easier should you need to find something in the meantime.
- Pest control—do not overlook the need for pest control in your storage shed. This is particularly important if you are storing boxes of paper and books.
Let the kids help
Downsizing your home can be overwhelming for both parents and kids, which is why, regardless of their age, children like to be included in such decisions. Having a child’s permission to get rid of items allows parents to let go of any potential guilt in throwing out that athletics trophy from 1984.
If grown-up children don’t want you to discard any of their treasured possessions, suggest that they take these items to their ‘new home’. You have looked after the items for years and now is the time for the kids to step up and make the decision; how important is this stuff to them really?
Getting the balance of letting go and saving items can be tough when emotions are involved. By giving your kids the final say in what they want to happen to their precious things when downsizing your home, can make it a less stressful situation. For those items YOU want to keep, self-storage is a great option to temporarily house your items.