Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links

Search for:


You Are Here: Home - Expert Advice - The Organizer's Toolbox - Tip Sheets

NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Simplify - Downsizing - Tips And Tricks - Moving

Downsizing Tips

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • How little can I get by with (and still be comfortable) at my new place?
  • Which of the items I own now are really important to me?
  • Is it beautiful, useful, or loved? Or am I just keeping it out of habit?
  • Will it still be useful or functional in my new home?
  • Can this item or piece of furniture save space by serving two functions?
  • Is it durable, well-made, and built to last?
  • Is this piece of furniture comfortable?
  • Is it easy to care for, or does it require special attention?
  • Is this appropriate for my physical condition or stage of life?
  • Will this fit in my new space?


  • thing to keep when you move and downsize
  • possessions to give to friends and family
  • items to be sold in an auction, estate sale, or garage sale
  • discards to be donated to charities
  • trash, broken objects, and other items to be thrown away
  • things I can't decide about now and need to think more about


  • be understanding -- downsizing is a difficult process
  • don't push or rush them -- let them work at their own pace
  • offer as much help and guidance as is needed but don't force it
  • let the person make his or her own decisions
  • help the person stay focused on completing one small area at a time
  • make a couple of passes through if they can't do it all at once
  • you can even put things in storage temporarily if needed


  • take photos of those treasured items you really want to remember
  • can look back and reminisce, without needing a storage unit to keep it all
  • give treasured keepsakes to family and friends
  • lay out items that need to go and invite loved ones to pick what they want
  • know that your treasures are going to people who love and appreciate them
  • donate serviceable items to charities that help the less fortunate
  • easier to let go when you know your belongings are still in use
  • have an estate sale and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity


  • choose furniture and objects that can serve more than one function
  • pick pieces that have storage space built in -- drawers, cabinets, etc.
  • avoid holding onto items that look good but are impractical and never used
  • avoid keeping excessively fragile, delicate, or rickety items
  • stick with fabrics and materials that are easy to care for and clean
  • choose furniture that is scaled to smaller spaces


  • start with the rooms in your house you aren't using
  • make decisions about big pieces of furniture before tackling smaller items
  • give yourself plenty of time to make good decisions -- don't rush yourself
  • take lots of breaks -- this is hard work and you shouldn't wear yourself out
  • ask friends and family to help you out
  • remember the goal is to simplify your life -- not to rob you of your memories
  • have packing supplies, boxes and bags on hand -- pack as you decide
  • schedule the donation truck to come over as soon as you are done


  • be clear about how you want your possessions distributed when you die
  • don't leave decisions up to bereaved family who may not follow your wishes
  • if you want certain personal items given to particular people, say so
  • make up a list of "who gets what"
  • put a tiny piece of tape bearing the person' s name on the item


  • may feel disloyal getting rid of inherited items, even if no space for them
  • person's things remind us of them in a very strong way
  • keeping their stuff is almost a way of keeping that person alive
  • your feelings for that person are not wrapped up in the physical object
  • you still have the good memories and warm feelings, even without the "thing"
  • allow yourself to reminisce and grieve as you clean out the person's house
  • spend some time reliving special memories as you go
  • tell stories about the person's life as you go through their things
  • don't be in such a rush that you miss the opportunity to really say goodbye


Would you like to reprint this tip sheet in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.

Click here if you would like to submit a tip sheet or checklist...

Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!

www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook