Downsizing has several meanings, but for most people it involves making life simpler, less cluttered, and less stressful. You can downsize and simplify just about any area of your life, including your wardrobe, finances, kitchen, and more. Here are five great ways to get started.
You might as well begin with the most difficult part of the challenge: clothing. Go through your closets with a vengeance and yank out every item you have not worn in the past year. Now, it's decision time. The only things that don't go to the recycle bin, salvage store, or friend who wants them are specialty pieces like tuxedos, pricey dresses you will wear on a special occasion, and similar high-end apparel. Everything else that has served no purpose for the past 12 months should be relegated outward, which is a euphemism for sell it online, give it away, or toss it in the trash.
Streamline Your Financial Situation
A smart way to simplify your personal finances is to consolidate multiple education loans into one. Rather than hassling with different payments to more than one lender, a consolidation lets your simplify life by making a single payment per month. Plus, it's easy to locate lenders who will help you with the process by doing a few minutes of online research.
If you played a sport in high school or college, there's probably some bulky equipment lurking in an attic, garage, or basement. In addition to sporting gear, you likely have some music-related items still hanging around from the career that never was or the lessons that just trailed off. Don't grab this stuff and head to the trash bin. Old guitars, pianos in disrepair, hockey equipment, and bowling gear can fetch real money at online or local auction sites. Garage sales are also an ideal venue for unloading larger items that don't ship well. The beauty of this category is that you have the potential to free up a lot of extra space in your home and make a few extra bucks in the process. It's a win-win situation if ever there was one.
Make a list of every piece of furniture you own. Write down its age, what you think it might get in a sale, and its current condition. Additionally, make an entry next to each line item about necessity. Do you really need that old stuffed chair in the corner of the basement than no one has looked at or sat in since 1997? Probably not. Chances are, you're hanging onto for sentimental reasons. Get things like this out of your house as quickly as possible, or at least park them in the garage until you can hold a yard sale or call a charity truck to come and take them away.
Most of us own at least twice as many kitchen gadgets and appliances as we need or want. Don't forget to look in cabinets, under sinks, in unused dishwashers, and in broom closets for kitchen items that are ready for the toss. Do you need multiple electric can openers, blenders, toasters, and coffee-makers? Probably not. Toss the broken appliances. Give away or sell the others. Keep just one of each needed item.