Though downsizing might be the right option for you or your older relative, the idea of sorting through a lifetime’s accumulation can make it hard. Add in those sentimental memories attached to your things and the whole process can seem downright impossible. But with these tips, decluttering your home or helping someone else downsize can be a little easier.
1. Take your time.
Don’t expect to finish during one weekend. Set realistic goals (like clearing a table, cabinet, or room), and you’ll be able to see your headway.
2. Work room by room.
Massive jobs broken into smaller segments will seem more manageable. Plus, by taking a roomby-room approach, you’ll be able to see your progress on day one.
3. Use the Four-Box Method.
A great way to prep for a move is to go through each item in every room and place it in one of these categories: trash, donate, keep, or relocate.
4. Accept help if it is offered, but don’t be afraid to control the type you receive.
Family and friends can be very helpful in decluttering or emptying a family home, but there are some parts of the process where their presence might be more unnerving than useful. Think ahead and plan specific tasks for them that won’t require your decisions.
5. Take a break.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or defeated, take a deep breath and come back to your clutter in an hour (or day). You can always get rid of something later, but you can’t retrieve something hastily discarded in a state of emotional stress. And remember, even one bag of trash or a box of donated goods is a success!
Written by Rosie Aquila
Rosie Aquila is Iona’s Communications and Marketing Manager. A graduate of Kenyon College (where she worked as editor for the college’s newspaper), Rosie joined Iona’s team in 2014.