We’re moving! It’s hard to celebrate when you are downsizing but I’m learning to be more humble. Minimalism made me incredibly happy and weightless a few years ago and this is my third time downsizing my house. Since I’ve learned a few tricks along the way, and the rental market is going to keep downsizing Londoners, I thought I’d share the wisdom! Here are my top tips for downsizing your home.
Making difficult choices
For the most part, downsizing and minimising your belongings is about making difficult choices. We are all guilty of owning too many things. I’ve learned that the on-trend ‘does it bring any joy’ method of tidying up didn’t work for me. Of course our belongings bring us joy – otherwise, why did we buy them? The real question to be asking, especially if you want to be brutal and seriously halve your belongings, is ‘will this bring someone else more joy than it is bringing me?’ That means you can let go of the clothes you’re hoping to fit back into, the dress you don’t have the occasion for, the cuddly toy that was just a gimmick buy and the books you didn’t enjoy. The other day, Adam saw a little girl in the charity shop ecstatic at buying my ginormous Minnie Mouse soft toy. So worth it!
It is much easier to let things go if they are going to a good home rather than just the bin. Over the past week or so, before we began to pack, we made the process easier by donating everything we could let go of to charity. From books to clothes to beddings, DVD’s, vinyls and gadgets, there’s someone out there who will cherish the things you don’t. Give something back and give something away. There’ll be a whole lot less to pack and you’ll be helping your locals!
Losing square footage means you should probably let go of furniture that won’t fit the space. I have personally found this the hardest. Not only do I love everything I have bought but it’s also quite impossible to get rid of large items in London. We have a street corner that is magic – much like the one in How I Met Your Mother. Look away for a second and any item will disappear. The problem is, however, who finds it first. If the wrong person finds it, you can be fined for fly tipping. Fortunately, that’s where other people come in! Flog your furniture to your neighbours on apps such as Next-door or Shpock but if you’re not bothered about making money, and just need the items gone, why not donate them to a charity as well? Organisations such as DEBRA will pick it up if it’s in good nick and sell it to make money for the charity. Alternatively, if your furniture is old and undesirable, Rubbish Taxi will take it away for a fee.
When moving into a small home, multi-purpose is key. Drawers should always double as behind the sofa or wall side boards with decorative tops. Spare beds should double as French mattresses or floor cushions since there’s nowhere to store them. Essentially, if it doesn’t double as storage or comfort, it isn’t worth having! It’s also worth investing in rugs or screens to divide, section or Feng shui a room – especially if it’s open plan or awkwardly shaped!
How many times have you downsized or gone minimalist? I’d love to hear your tips!