When it comes to downsizing your home, it is easy to find a plethora of checklists and best practices all over the internet with one simple Google search. Of course, most of these suggestions are valid but what matters is finding the right method for you.
In an effort to keep you from being overwhelmed by both the process of downsizing and finding the right way to go about it, consider keeping this simple method in mind: donate, sell, trash
Whether you have lived in your home for one year or twenty-five years, stuff has a way of piling up. One of the best ways to start a downsizing project is to group your items into three categories: give away or donate, sell, and trash. Organizing what you need to do in digestible chunks prevents you from becoming overwhelmed and makes the process a breeze.
These are the items that can be given to friends and family who need them, like the extra dishes that may interest your nephew Billy who just bought his first home.
Pro tip: Snapping a quick picture of your giveaway pile and sending it out via text can speed up the process immensely!
As for the items passed over, donate them to your local charities. For instance, there is Habitat for Humanity’s Restore where businesses and individuals can donate new and used materials like appliances, furniture, building supplies (flooring, plumbing, electrical), and a variety of other goods.
For the gently used items that still have some life left to them, try posting them on Kijiji, Buy and Sell groups, or by organizing a good old-fashioned garage sale.
As much as you would like to think otherwise, some items have run their course. No, duct tape won’t fix it. It is time to throw it out.
IMPORTANT: When it comes to your trash pile, there is an important subcategory that needs to be created — TO SHRED. Paper has a unique ability to pile up quickly just about everywhere. Junk drawers, filing cabinets, boxes, bags, you name it, paper is always there.
That being said, you need to do your best to ensure that any papers or documents that contain your personal information (name, address, SIN number, bank account information, and so on) is put into your TO SHRED pile. Identity thieves don’t need much to turn your life upside down. Always, always, always, protect your sensitive information by disposing of paper products properly.
Examples of items that need to be shred:
- Receipts, bills, bank or credit card statements, old tax returns*
- Envelops, packing labels
- Prescriptions, medication labels
- Expired passports, tickets, licenses
*Please review these with your accountant to find out what is eligible for shredding.