Lighten Your Load: 6 Ways to De-Clutter and Downsize

| August 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

declutter your lifeThere comes a point in life when it’s time to clear the clutter. This is especially true if you are looking to downsize your home. While the idea of parting with beloved treasures can be intimidating, the benefits can outweigh the nostalgia tied to your belongings.

According to Psychology Today, clutter can adversely affect your health, making it difficult to relax and feel at ease in your own home. Similarly,

the cost of clutter can even result in late fees and a bad credit score. There are many reasons to cut back and get organized, but where should you start? If you are thinking about downsizing, look no further than the list below to help you decide what can stay and what needs to go.

Clothing

Clothes can be a reflection of cherished memories and special occasions, as well as shades of your personality, which is why tackling an overstuffed closet can feel like a lost cause.

To simplify this process, try taking every item out of your closet and assessing with a fresh mind. Separate your clothing into three distinct sections — items to keep, donate, or trash. To determine which items are keepers, ask yourself, when was the last time I wore this? Will I wear it again? If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it is unlikely that you will wear it in the years to come.

Kitchen Appliances

So many kitchen gadgets are purchased with the best of intentions — after all, who doesn’t want homemade waffles every Sunday? However, the reality of delivering on such promises is often a different story.

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Even if all of your wedding registry dreams came true, it is important to assess the practicality of your gadgets. Similar to organizing a closet, you’ll want to ask yourself when the last time was that you used certain kitchen utensils and appliances, particularly the ones taking up the most space.

If you only use your crockpot once a year, it’s time to part with it. Unless you are getting regular use out of items that take up space, it is time to ditch or donate them. For smaller utensils, investing in drawer dividers and organizers is an orderly way to reduce clutter.

Exercise Equipment

Exercise is an important part of healthy living, and doing it within the comfort of your own home can be ideal for many people. However, if your exercise equipment is just sitting there, and you’re just sitting there alongside it, does it really seem worth the space?

vase-quote-911x1024Though it may be difficult to part with expensive equipment, studies have shown that motivation, not necessarily the equipment, is more of a factor when it comes to health and wellness. With that mentality, donating (or selling) the equipment and opting for a healthy jog or run around the block may be a better solution.

Old Furniture

When moving, it’s important to remember that not all of your furniture has to go along for the ride. If your furniture takes up more space than you have room for, consider eliminating some of it.

You can start by removing a few smaller pieces — perhaps a floor lamp or an end table — and see how much space it opens up. From there, determine what is really needed to make you (and your guests) feel comfortable. You may not think of furniture as having an expiration date, but it can. Will you keep your couch another few years, or is it time for an upgrade?

You’ll want to take durability and comfort into consideration, and when it comes to furniture, investing in quality over quantity is your best bet.

Books, Magazines, CDs, and DVDs

While you may be well read and cultured, there seems to be little practicality to piling up old books and magazines. Why take up the valuable space with items you’ve already enjoyed?

Though we certainly aren’t suggesting setting your books ablaze, you may want to consider donating them to a used bookstore for others to enjoy. The same goes for old CDs and DVDs. With streaming technology ever evolving, the era of collecting CDs and DVDs is long past. If you’re looking to turn a profit, you may want to try selling your old collectibles online.

Or, try gifting a dear friend or family member a favorite book as a sweet gesture.

Decorations

Maybe Christmas is your favorite holiday and your house is known for the extravagant holiday lights that adorn your exterior. Maybe you like your holidays big and loud with décor and garlands covering every inch of wall space.

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These days, everyone seems to be talking about finding your dream and living your passion. So many people are talking about it, but so few are actually doing it .

But when it comes to themed decorations, keep in mind that a little can say a lot. If you’re downsizing, consider having a few signature pieces of holiday décor; instead of buying new pieces, use natural materials to decorate your home, such as tree branches or pinecones.

With the added benefit of creating a woodsy, natural appeal, these items can be easily and safely disposed of after the holiday season.

There is no shortage of ways to de-clutter when downsizing your home. By assessing your priorities and values, only you can determine what matters most and has the greatest effect on your lifestyle.

It’s easy to accumulate items over time, but with these steps it can be just as easy to do away with the clutter and create extra space in your new home.

Contributed By:  Mehran Aram, a graduate from the University of San Diego School of Business in 1984, founded Aramco Mortgage in 1998 after spending almost five years in the industry. Today, Mehran Aram is President and CEO of The Aramco Group, and has recently been honored with the distinction of CRMP(Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional) a certification held by less than 50 brokers nationwide. Mr. Aram currently heralds the title of “Mortgage Analyst” on San Diego radio stations: AM 600 KOGO, AM 760 KFMB, AM 1170 KCBQ, AM 1210 KPRZ, FM 98.1, and Fox News Monterey’s AM 1460. Garnering endorsements across the state of California, including from radio personalities, Roger Hedgecock, George Chamberlin, Mark Larson, and Ladona Harvey, Mehran Aram along with his nearly 20 years of industry experience has effectively become California’s Mortgage Expert in reverse mortgages, refinances and purchase loans, among many other loan products.

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