For more than 20 years, consultant Susan Kent has been smoothing the way for new members of the Judson community. Downsizing – the process of deciding what to keep and what can go – is an essential part of the process. Susan shares a few tips to get you started.
- Acknowledge the past, but embrace the future. Do you still need three dozen neckties? Do those pruning shears still serve a purpose? If the answer is “no,” then let them go. “It’s perfectly okay to be sentimental,” Susan says, “but be honest about what fits your current lifestyle. We all tend to hold onto the past, but remember: Before you can say ‘hello,’ you have to say ‘goodbye.’”
- Have a plan. One of Susan’s valuable services is creating a floor plan for your new space that provides a realistic picture of what will fit ‑- and what won’t. “With a plan as your baseline, it’s easier to let go of the excess.”
- Less is more. Whether its books, artwork, or collectibles, Susan suggests choosing the one piece that can represent the whole. “Our things tend to be more about memories than function. So by focusing on the most meaningful pieces, it can make it easier to let go of the rest.”
- Double duty saves the day. Furniture gobbles up square footage, Susan explains, making pieces that can serve a dual purpose ideal. “Can that ottoman double as a coffee table? Can your dining table also serve as your desk? If so, then they probably are keepers.”
- Do good with your giveaways. “The next generation doesn’t want your stuff,” reminds Susan. So consider donating it to a worthy cause. “You can feel good knowing that groups like Habitat for Humanity, the Cleveland Furniture Bank, or Magnolia Club House will use your donations to help others,” she says.
- Find the joy in starting fresh. “In time, we can all get overwhelmed by our belongings,” Susan says. “But there is a beauty in having a clean slate. It’s a chance to simplify and reorganize in a way that makes sense for your new life.”
- And remember: The most important things in life aren’t things. “Our sense of ‘home’ is more than our belongings,” Susan says. “It encompasses our connections and relationships. The richer and more active your interior life is, the easier it is to let go of things. In the end, your ‘home’ is as big as you make it.”
Is Downsizing Your Next Move? Join us for a panel presentation centered around decluttering, downsizing, rightsizing and right-pricing your home in preparation for your next move.