Decluttering Your Home for Downsizing: It's a State of Mind

When you're making the move from a larger to a smaller home, finding the space for all the possessions you've accumulated over the years can present a daunting task. While downsizing your San Diego-area home definitely takes a bit of time and effort, the upsides are many; from a simplified life to simply more space, decluttering allows you to let go of things that are simply "stuff" and make room for the treasured items that really matter.

When That Home for Sale in San Diego is Smaller

When you're moving from, say, 2,000 square feet into 1,500 square feet — or less — the idea of getting rid of what amounts to a lifetime's worth of things has potential to take an emotional toll. That's why experts recommend starting the decluttering and downsizing process with a change of mindset.

Downsizing your San Diego home

For many, letting go of possessions equates to letting go of a personal history. But, as the AARP notes, simplifying your life does not mean erasing your past. By shifting your mindset, you're actually creating space in your life for what matters most. While it's OK to feel sad about parting with some of that stuff, consider that you're actually embarking on a new and exciting part of your journey. Instead of focusing on what you're leaving behind, think about your new lifestyle and all the positive changes that will come along with your new home.

This mindset will not only change your mood for the better, it'll also allow you to make decisions about what to bring along to your new home with you.

Start Big and Work Down

Start the decluttering process by creating a map of your new home's dimensions. Once you know exactly how much space you have to work with in each room, grab your measuring tape and hit the big stuff first: your furniture. Actual dimensions of your new rooms and your existing furnishings will help you determine what will fit where... and what won't. For instance, you may be able to take that dining room table, but just not all the chairs. Your love seat may fit in your new living room better than the full-size sofa.

Once you've pared down your bulky furnishings, we recommend starting at the highest room in your current home and work your way down to pare down the rest of your belongings. As a general rule, ask yourself three questions:

  1. "Do I love it?"
  2. "Do I need it?"
  3. "Do I use it?"

If the answer is yes, consider finding a space for it in your new home in San Diego. If the answer is no, it's time to let go.

That means going through boxes that you've been storing in the attic, sorting through clothing, scanning old photos into digital form, donating books you've read, and keeping just a few pieces from collections... you get the idea. When space is at a premium, focus on the items you love, need and use.

By shifting your mindset, decluttering to downsize will become a positive that will enhance your lifestyle. If you're next step is to sell your home you'll want to check out this two part series on how to prepare your San Diego home to sell and make more money when you sell.