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What should I keep and what should I throw away when downsizing?

what to keep and what to throw away
It's hard to know what to keep and what to throw away. Hopefully our thoughts will help

You’re downsizing and all you need to know now is what should I keep and what should I throw away? It doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds, but some of it will be painful. The most important part of downsizing is purging your life of items you don’t need. That’s the easy part – the harder part is getting rid of things that you love. It’s important, though, that you don’t live to regret your purge. So, think twice before you toss something that you actively use for health, comfort or any other purpose. The key to downsizing is to do it effectively.

What should I keep and what should I throw away?

  • Start with the big stuff – if you currently live in a four-bedroom home and you’re downsizing to a one (or two) bedroom, then you know where to start. You don’t need all those beds, chests of drawers or bedside tables. So, start with those, whether you donate them, dump them or pass them to friends.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s always tempting to just clear shelves of knickknacks right into a rubbish bag. Think about which items you really love and hold onto those to display in your new home. Part of feeling at home is having the things you love around you. Humans are good at accumulating junk so, be sure that you dump that rather than things you truly love. It’s just stuff, but if something feels like more than stuff, then you should probably keep it and find something else to get rid of instead.
  • Downsize that kitchen – you probably don’t need that fancy set of dishes you drag out once a year, just keep the items you use daily. You don’t need dozens of plates, but you still want to have enough to entertain company from time to time. You don’t want to put yourself in a position of having to buy things you had but mistakenly threw away. Then again, you’re probably not going to need anywhere near the number of appliances you’ve been holding onto. Do you really use all that baking gear?
  • With sentiments – photographs, children’s items, and things we hold dear are the most difficult items to part with. As far as photographs go, you can digitise them. That way you have a memory stick full of photos (you can then buy a digital frame to plug it into). Hold on to the most precious photographs and consider giving the rest to your kids. You can do this with any precious items you have that you can’t take with you, but don’t want to discard.  
  • Plan your storage – once you have done an initial purge, consider your storage options once you move. This will allow you to determine whether your purge was big enough or you need to go through it all again. Sometimes a second look can change your mind about certain items that you’ve held onto.

Hopefully, this will assist you in your journey of what should I keep and what should I throw away as you continue on your downsizing journey.

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