New Year Downsizing
By Lynn Ferraina, Advisor
A new year is new beginnings. This could mean learning a new language, tackling a new hobby, or perhaps decluttering your living space. Whether you are downsizing to a new home or decluttering your current home, the task can seem overwhelming. One of the best ways to stay on track and organized is to have structure. Below are 6 ways to help you declutter in an organized manner.
- Give yourself a head start as soon as possible
Time is of the essence, and the more time you have to space out your downsizing, the smoother it will likely go. Schedule your day the same way you would a workday, planning out specific tasks you will complete each day. If you have others helping with the declutter, this will keep everyone on schedule.
- Start Big
There is nothing worse than finally moving and realizing your furniture will not fit. Start by measuring out the dimensions of your room sizes and the largest pieces you own. Determine which pieces of furniture will comfortably fit, while still leaving room for your other belongings. This will leave ample time to determine whether to sell the pieces or have them removed.
- Consider what to keep and what to pass on
Everyone comes to the conclusion, sometime in their life, that they have too much “stuff.” Determine which of your belongings you truly need or derive “joy” from. Have boxes at the ready, labeled “keep”, “donate”, and “dispose”. Ask your loved ones if there are special items they would like, and gift them now so that you may have the pleasure of watching them enjoy your treasures.
- Contact local donation centers
Find out what local donation centers are looking for and if they will pick up large items. Many donation centers have the ability to come pick up furniture that is in good condition. Donating items can be helpful to the community and there may also be a tax benefit to you. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a taxpayer can deduct the fair market value of donated clothing, household goods, used furniture, shoes, books, and so forth, up to the published limits allowed.
- Store files in an online vault
Keeping only physical copies of important documents not only takes up space- it can be a real hazard! Fires, floods, mold, and yellowing of paper all threaten your documents, and unless your filing system is immaculate, searching for a particular document could take up your valuable time. An online vault, which we provide in our cas360 system, digitizes your files and allows you to keep them in one place for easy access by you or a family member.
- Avoid Putting everything in a storage unit
It can be tempting to pack up all of your extra items and place them in a storage unit, however that defeats the purpose of decluttering and adds an extra monthly expense. If you take the time and really discern what you need and what you don’t, you will most likely feel greater comfort and less cluttered.
Decluttering can be a stressful process and can take some real mental fortitude to complete, but once done it will hopefully provide relief. It can be surprising how fast your belongings can accumulate and make your space feel smaller. You may want to have a one-in, one-out rule as you buy new items to avoid clutter again. As you tackle decluttering, our team is here to provide support for the financial road ahead.