Are you moving or transitioning to a new space? Are you helping your parents downsize or wondering how to downsize and declutter yourself? Here are Peter Walsh’s downsizing tips from his book Let it Go, Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life

Time to Downsize: Where did all this clutter come from?

Anytime we pack up a lifetime of possessions we find ourselves wondering, where did all this stuff come from and what should I move or discard.  I have worked thousands of hours on-site with my clients young and old to answer this question.

If you find yourself in this situation or know that it is on the horizon, I suggest picking up Peter Walsh’s latest organizing book for inspiration. In this video I show you the key takeaways from Let it Go, Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life.

Why Downsize?

There are great benefits to downsizing. When letting go of things you also eliminate fear, overwhelm, procrastination, and resentment. You will achieve a lighter more open mindset of joy, relaxation, motivation, and focus. You will unburden yourself from things you kept out of obligation, and inattention and rediscover your true self.

It’s not just about the stuff

This book also gives you tools for managing the emotional stress that can come with downsizing. Have the mindset that you are not losing your stuff, you are creating a new home, and that this is a chance to shed negative attachments to the past. You can keep the story, not the stuff by taking photos, video, and relaying the memories to future generations.

Sale
Fellowes Heavy Duty, Water Proof, Durable, Reinforced Corner, Comfortable Handle, Built-in Rail, Portable File Box (FEL0086201)
  • Bankers box heavy-duty file box provides organized and secure, waterproof storage of letter-size and legal-size documents
  • Durable plastic (polypropylene) construction features reinforced corners for added strength so the file box can stack up to five High
  • Modular design of the taa-compliant file box means easy stack ability
  • Bankers Box Heavy-duty File Box Provides Organized And Secure, Waterproof Storage Of Letter-size And Legal-size Documents
  • Durable Plastic (polypropylene) Construction Features Reinforced Corners For Added Strength So The File Box Can Stack Up To Five High

Sort first – less emotional to more emotional

By sorting like items first and saving very emotional items for last you will save yourself considerable stress and not be forced to make hasty decisions. One of the hardest things about downsizing, and why people get overwhelmed, is decision fatigue. Start with less emotional items. This will differ per person. For you it may be kitchen items, decluttering the garage, clothing, furniture, or books. Make the less emotional decisions first while building up to tougher decisions.

Amazon Basics Moving Boxes with Handles - Medium, 10-Pack
  • 10-Pack of medium (19"x15.5"x14.5") moving, banker, or storage boxes with open-side handles
  • Made of strong corrugated kraft cardboard with a reinforced double bottom
  • Great for moving, storing personal or business items, documents, decorations, and more
  • Can be collapsed for storage and reused multiple times
  • Transport and stack easily with side handles and flat lift-off lids

Downsizing is a team effort

Downsizing is a chance to form new relationships with family members, everyone will have a role to play. Who in your family is interested in your collections? Can someone scan the family photos? Who can help sell valuable items? Don’t force family members to take things just because you don’t want to let them go, but friends and family can be a good resource for rehoming some of your things.

Sharpie Pro Permanent Marker, Medium, Chisel Tip, Black Marker (2018329)
  • Permanent ink that can mark on wet, oil, dusty, and abrasive surfaces
  • Durable chisel tip stands up to wear and tear
  • Medium-size barrel in an anti-roll shape
  • Rugged grip area for better control
  • Lanyard loop at top of cap for quick access and cap safekeeping

Minimize Sentimental items in the “keep pile”

I love Peter Walsh’s test for how much sentimental stuff to keep. When selecting which treasures to keep, take the “Dining Room table test”. All the mementos you are keeping should fit on the top of your dining room table. This way, they will be easy to transport and should easily fit in a smaller space like your new home.

Brother P-touch, PTD210, Easy-to-Use Label Maker, One-Touch Keys, Multiple Font Styles, 27 User-Friendly Templates, White
  • Quick access to fonts, frames, symbols and more
  • Prints up to 2-lines on labels up to 12 millimeter wide
  • 14 fonts, 97 frames, and more than 600 symbols

Would you buy it again given the chance?

When reviewing “I-Might-Need-it” items, ask yourself “would I pay for it again”? The cost of moving and storage can often cost more than just eliminating something you will not use.

Recollections Photo Box & Craft Keeper (Multicolor)
  • This convenient clear craft storage box includes 16 individual colorful mini photo storage boxes to organize, protect and store photos and supplies.
  • The photo storage containers hold up to 1,600 (4”x6”) photos total. Each mini case holds up to 100 photos. Overall size: 15" L x 12" W x 5" H, Mini case size (each): 7" L x 5" W x 1.2" H.
  • Not just for photo storage, these versatile plastic craft storage containers can hold student task cards, card and dice games, LEGOs, art supplies, puzzle pieces, makeup and much more.
  • The foldable handle on this plastic craft storage box allows for portable on the go projects. Purchase additional craft storage boxes and stack them for all your organizational needs.
  • The craft storage containers are durable and easy to clean, with acid-free plastic construction. Also features a secure locking top and snap-tight buckle closures for mini colorful cases.

Consider your new space

Assess your new space to determine what will actually fit by measuring rooms, closets, and shelving. Sometimes I start with this plan if my client has already picked out their new home. Together we can go through the house focusing on the things they love. Creating a plan for the new smaller, easier to organize, home can be a positive experience so you or the person you are helping to downsize is not just focused on what they need to get rid of in order to relocate.

Post-it Super Sticky Full Stick Notes, 3x3 in, 12 Pads, 2x the Sticking Power, Rio de Janeiro Collection, Bright Colors (Orange, Pink, Blue, Green), Recyclable (F330-12SSAU)
  • 3 in x 3 in, Rio de Janeiro Collection
  • Post-it Super Sticky Full Adhesive Notes lay flat longer.
  • Post-it Super Sticky Notes have 2X the sticking power.
  • Note has full adhesive back and features a easy peel edge with indicator so you can peel a note with ease.
  • Use for reminders or short lists.

Sell, Donate, Dispose (then repeat)

And finally; return, sell, give, donate, and dispose of extra items. Create a plan for what will move to the new space. Choose a few happy memories. Clean out obvious trash. Pack your bags and eliminate the rest.

How to Downsize a Home in 5 Days

How to Downsize your Home in 10 Simple Steps

Need help Starting a Downsizing Business?

There are many things to consider when starting an organizing business like:

  • What will I name my business?
  • Where will I find clients?
  • How do I become an organizer?
  • Do I need to be certified?
  • How will I structure my business?

You have come to the right place! Check out my other blogs on starting a decluttering business:

?How to Start a Professional Organizing Business

?The Ultimate Reading List for (wannabe) Certified Professional Organizers

?How to Create a Name for your Organizing Business

?7 Ways to Get Clients for your Professional Organizing Business

Get a copy of my free guide “Professional Organizer’s Launch Guide” HERE

When you are ready to start your own decluttering business, check out all my courses on working as a professional organizer in my course bundle for the best price on courses to create and market your organizing business and design a system of organization that will work with all your clients no matter how small or large their volume of clutter!

Happy Organizing!