10 Tips to Downsize and Declutter

1. Start early. It’s never too late to begin the process. Downsizing/decluttering takes time and energy. Focus on some of the more challenging areas that are time consuming such as going through files. Get two large trash bags and Label one with shred and the other with trash. Put in the shred bag, documents including tax returns, receipts, and old files from 2015 and older. Take them to the local shredding company or seek out a community shredding day. At the community shredding days, it is usually $5 for a banker box.

2. Recycle old tube TV’s and any items with a cord that are broken like irons, blenders and small appliances. In Indianapolis, you can take it to Recycle Force at 1255 Roosevelt Avenue.

3. Items you no longer can use or fit, you can give to family members. Sometimes what they sell for, it’s better to gift them. Many families have adult children that don’t want their items. Don’t be hurt. It’s just a fact. Many charities can use your items.

4. Most households have shoe boxes and albums of family photos and vacations compiled into print, slides, VHS tapes and some in 8 mm film. VHS tapes disintegrate over time and if you don’t store 8 mm film vertically, it wrinkles, which is difficult to run through the projector. Go through all of these medias and toss out double sunsets, the same pictures of many takes, and reduce. Organize in themes, dates or by event. I like by the date. Consider digitizing and put on a thumb nail drive.

5. If you own a large quantity of books, it is difficult to sell. Half price books pay pennies. I like taking it to local libraries and they sell them at book fairs and use the money to keep up the libraries.

6. Go through your pantry. If you have duplicates of the same dried goods, give it to a food pantry. They really need it. Check the dates for expiration.

7. Go through your hazardous waste products. These include house paint, automotive products, any & all aerosol cans, like spray paint, cleaning products, poisonous products, like insect killer and bug sprays. Many towns have a drop off spot. Hamilton county is on Pleasant Street in Noblesville, Indianapolis, which has several drop spots.

8. Create a list of utilities and places you need to transfer or disconnect service. Complete Relocation Solutions gives you that list with an 8 week out checklist to review.

9. If you know where you are moving to, get a floor plan. If there is not one, CRS can create a floor plan. Taking the furniture that brings you love, joy and happiness is important. Sell or donate the others. Putting a floor plan together, creates a smooth transition and knowing where everything will go and fit is great.

10. Moving is one of the top three stresses in one’s life. Don’t be too independent and do it all yourself. There are always some bumps along the way that your Move Manager can help you solve.