How to Downsize and Declutter!

In this post, I mentioned how I'm getting ready for my big move out to Portland. While going through what I want to bring, and what I'd rather leave behind, I've realized that there are a lot of things that I need to let go of (emotionally and otherwise).

The hardest things to let go of for me are sentimental items. Things a friend or relative made for me as a gift. Items that reminds me of someone. It can be difficult, but I need to remember that these items don't always represent everything that person means to me. If I hold them in my heart, I don't need a gift or trinket to remind me of them. Unless the item is particularly special to me, I need to start letting these objects go.  

My grandma crocheted the blanket for me, and the book was a gift from my sister. I'm keeping both!

My grandma crocheted the blanket for me, and the book was a gift from my sister. I'm keeping both!

Here is some of what I've learned during this process of going through my belongings, in case you're ready to start letting go as well: 

  • Start small, and with duplicates. 
    Do you really need 15 serving plates? Why do you have three saucepans? Do you need a drawer full of pens, or just one? How many pairs of socks are really necessary in life? 

    Start asking these questions, and start small. Start by filling a bag with items that are old or worn out. Then move to items you have in excess. You'll probably fill up those bags pretty quickly! 
Arrrgggh - why do I need all these dishes!? I live by myself for cryin' out loud! 

Arrrgggh - why do I need all these dishes!? I live by myself for cryin' out loud! 

  • Pick up each item you own, and ask: Is this still important to me? 
    Maybe it was important at one time, but why are you still hanging on to it? Is the item still enriching your life, or is it something that you just keep moving from place to place? 

    Only keep items that truly bring joy to you, your life, and your home. 
     
  • GET RID OF PAPER FILES. 
    I was helping my little sister move recently into a small efficiency apartment. As we were arranging the room, I noticed she had three boxes of just paper files on the floor! I couldn't believe the amount of paper that she was trying to find room to store in an already tiny room. And really, how often do we really need to refer to our old files anyway?? 

    I decided to go through my stash of paper files, and start shredding. As far as credit card statements go - shred away. It's the 21st century, people. Sign up for paperless statements that you can get through email. If you still have some that were mailed, go through them, make note of whatever you need to keep, and get rid of the rest. 

    One blessing to help with this is the Tiny Scanner App. I "scanned" files into PDFs that I wanted to save electronically and emailed them to myself. Now the only paper files I keep are things like my apartment leases, car title, and birth certificate. Everything else either gets scanned and/or shredded! 
     
  • Now that you've minimalized - STOP BUYING. 
    This is the hardest part, but the most important one. What's the point of minimalizing your stuff if you're just going to buy more stuff to replace it? Simplifying our homes and our lives can help with removing distractions, and help us focus on what truly matters.

    We read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo for my Book Club, and it couldn't have come at a better time! I love her method not only because it's simple, but because everything that you keep in the end is something that adds value and happiness to your life. Everything you own has a purpose. I highly recommend picking it up if you're looking to change your life by minimizing your belongings. 
I'm going to miss my book club girls!

I'm going to miss my book club girls!

When I began to let things go, I noticed that my apartment was much cleaner. There were less items sitting out unused, and there was a much nicer flow throughout each room. It created more room to breathe, and I don't even feel like I had to let go of very much in order to accomplish that. 

I'm so excited about what this new move will bring, and the lessons I will learn in the future. I am also excited about keeping my tidy and purposeful mentality in my next apartment with Amber! 

I'm going to miss my little apartment in Denver, but I'm thankful for the memories I had there. And everything in this room had a purpose! Love it!

I'm going to miss my little apartment in Denver, but I'm thankful for the memories I had there. And everything in this room had a purpose! Love it!