September 8th – 14th was National Organising Week, an initiative of the Australian Association of Professional Organisers. This and the spate of recent stories about the growing trend to apartment living led me to think about downsizing. The result these easy steps to set you on your way. The suggestions would be equally useful in decluttering your existing home.

1. Plan

Make a basic floor plan of your new apartment and any storage provided. This should help you to figure out what will fit in your new place before you start the process of sorting our your stuff. The size and scale of some things will just not work in an apartment.

2. Edit Your Stuff

Once you have a general plan, begin sorting your stuff. Start with less emotional areas, such as the kitchen, the laundry or the shed. Be honest with yourself. If you have not used something for a year, do not really need something or believe it won’t work out in your apartment get rid of it. If you have multiple objects for one task for example appliances pick the best and let go of the rest. There are many outlets for these things eBay, charity shops etc. If they are simply junk dispose of them. If this leaves you with items which are too valuable to discard or are of emotional value or are only used seasonally (ski gear) but will not fit in your apartment you may want to consider some self storage.

3. Use Your Friends To Help

If you’re having trouble deciding what to keep and what to toss, enlist the help of a friend or family member. An objective helper can make those tough decisions for you and help you decide if you really need that broken skateboard from the 1980′s. Ask your friend to make four groups: keep, toss, donate/sell, store. You can then go through these groups to make the final decision.

4. Consider Self-Storage

Getting rid of your possessions isn’t easy. For sentimental objects that you just can’t part with, opt for self-storage. Renting a storage unit can help give you the best of both worlds. You won’t clutter up your new apartment, but you also won’t have to part with family heirlooms, seasonal and valuable items.

5. Do It Once

Gather your packing supplies and pack each room as your sort it. Use a colour-coded system to organize your boxes. Choose a colour for each room and mark the boxes designated for that room with a coordinating sticker. It can also be useful to record the contents on the outside of each box.

 

Finally, downsizing doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. With a positive attitude and a little organization it can be very liberating to lighten your load!