Downsizing in Place

Downsizing in placeReady to downsize your stuff, but not quite ready to sell the house? Nobody said downsizing has to mean moving to a smaller home. You can get many of the same benefits by downsizing in place.

Downsizing in place involves getting rid of excess stuff and clearing some space so that your home is easier to manage and keep clean. And when it is time to move, the process will be less overwhelming. The downsizing-in-place process can be tackled in a stepwise manner, as follows:

  1. Ask adult children to remove the rest of the belongings they are storing at your home. In the process, ask them what other things they might like from your home once you decide you no longer want them. You may be surprised that they may have no interest in things that you’ve been holding onto just for them.
  2. Go through each room of the house and assess what items you really need or enjoy, and what no longer serves a purpose. To prevent becoming overwhelmed, tackle one room per week. Don’t forget the closets.
  3. Rethink how many of those extra things you really need. Do you really need three sets of dishes or silverware?  How about those sheets that don’t fit any of the beds you currently have in your home?  Do you have a closet full of coats you no longer wear?  Or more knickknacks than you care to dust? Letting those things go can allow them to be put to good use by others rather than taking up space in your home.
  4. When discarding items you no longer need or want, keep an itemized list, box it all up, and drop it off to your favorite charity. Holding yard sales and selling on Craigslist is often more trouble than it is worth.  Getting a receipt for your donations and deducting the value on your tax return often gives you a better return on your investment of time and energy.
  5. Find a new home for anything on the floor that does not have feet. Getting items other than furniture off the floor reduces tripping hazards and makes a room easier to vacuum and keep clean.
  6. Rearrange the remaining furniture in your home so that rooms look less crowded and there is more open floor space. Reorganize closets so that items are easy to access.
  7. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new environment!

If the process still seems overwhelming, consider hiring a professional organizer ( to help break down the process into manageable pieces and keep you on track until you realize your goal.

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About Denise Molzahn

Denise Molzahn is a Greater Philadelphia professional organizer with EverSpace Organizing in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Visit Denise Molzahn's website
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