By Laurie Usypchuk
A garbage can should not be the picture that comes to mind when thinking of downsizing. Throwing away items should always be the last resort. But how do you make sure that this happens?
First start off by having the right attitude about what you own.
If stuff has been in a box, closet, attic, garage or storage facility and it hasn’t been touched, used, looked at for over 6 months to 1 year does it have any value?
Assign a new perspective on value by asking yourself the following questions:
– What can I do with the money I get by selling these items or by no longer paying for the storage of these items?
– How good will I feel if I donate these items to someone in need?
– How can I get money or enjoyment from the space that is freed up by getting rid of items?
– How much money can I save on a future move by moving less?
Second be realistic about what your stuff is worth.
Money you paid in the past for something does not necessarily mean that the item has retained or increased in value.
Also, no one can effectively forecast the market. Thinking that it will increase in value one day and waiting for that to happen is like trying to win the lottery.
Third be realistic on how long the process will take.
Being indecisive or constantly revisiting your decisions will increase the amount of time needed. Unless you use the OHIO (“Only Handle It Once”) principle, it will take longer than planned.
So how do you get the most value from what you own?
Don’t spend money unless you have to.
Don’t throw something out. Disposal costs money (directly by renting trash bins or indirectly through municipal taxes) and contributes negatively to the environment.
Don’t get something appraised before you do some homework on the Internet.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
Waiting causes unnecessary stress. Being proactive gives you more time to investigate different options. It also gives you the control of these decisions vs. being forced to make them or needing someone else to make them for you later.
Don’t think you have to do it all alone.
Downsizing can be a daunting process: not knowing where to start and feeling great loss. It takes an objective project manager to help you see your stuff for the worth it has and to keep the process on track.
Laurie Usypchuk is a Certified Zoomer Staging (Downsizing) Specialist®, a Certified Senior Move Manager® and owner, lead stylist of Love This House, a Home Staging Services company. For more information contact Laurie at 416-949-1195 or [email protected]. Also visit www.lovethishouse.ca