Thinking of downsizing your home? The idea might be especially appealing if you’re in the midst of spring cleaning. But how can you simplify the process and differentiate between the things you need, and the things you don’t? Whether you’re planning a move or looking to free yourself from excess clutter, our pros share simple tips for streamlining your stuff.
Edit seasonal decor with reusable accents.
Tired of storing heaps of holiday decor? Just follow the lead of Ingrid and John Sullivan, senior downsizing experts at Dallas Fort Worth Senior Living, and keep items that can be dressed up for any holiday.
One idea: Use wire to attach festive accents to a boxwood wreath, like baubles for Christmas and eggs for Easter.
Condense collectibles in a quick snap.
When you’re downsizing, it can be hard to let go of a lifetime collection of artwork or vacation trinkets. But, they can end up taking over shelf space or getting stashed away in boxes.
Instead, the Sullivans suggest choosing a few of your favorites to display, then take photos of the rest and have them printed into a photo book or uploaded to a digital frame that you can show off on your coffee table or mantel. We like the Monster Smart Home Digital Photo Frame for its easy set up and crystal-clear screen (Buy from Amazon, $129.99). With this, you can enjoy your collection without the clutter!
Turn smaller sentimental collections into stylish art.
Instead of hiding jewelry collections in a drawer, consider freeing up space by artfully displaying the gems where they can be admired, says Gwyn Nielsen of Sparkling Charm.
Her easy idea: Arrange necklaces, brooches, and earrings inside a shadow box for an instant art piece. Also smart: Glue brooches or orphan earrings to picture frames.
Pare down paper piles with a strategic pit stop.
To tackle paperwork clutter on an entryway table or desk, the Sullivans recommend moving your recycling bin to the area where you bring papers in. A key reason papers accumulate is the extra step needed to take them to a second spot to “process.” So, keeping a bin nearby prevents paper piles from forming.
Also smart: “As you go through old paperwork, be careful to shred documents you no longer need that might contain personal information or account numbers. And for any important documents that need to be kept, scan and store on the computer to eliminate clutter.”
Cure kitchen clutter by giving away duplicates.
When tackling kitchenwares and small appliances, the Sullivans suggest asking yourself the following questions:
- How much you are going to use each item?
- Is it worth taking up valuable cabinet or countertop space, especially if you only use it once or a few times per year?
For example: Say you’re feeling wary about handing off that second roasting pan because you use it every Christmas and Thanksgiving but at no other times during the year. Consider giving it to a child or grandchild! They can bring it over for the holidays for you to use and take it home with them when they leave.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.