9 Easy Downsizing Ideas to Declutter Your Space

9 Easy Downsizing Ideas to Declutter Your Space

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Whether you’re moving into a smaller space or you just need to declutter, check out our list of quick and easy home downsizing ideas.

While moving from a 5,000 square-foot house to a 400 square-foot RV, I learned a thing or two about downsizing. Chances are, your situation isn’t as drastic as that, but we can all use some quick and easy tips for downsizing.

Even if you aren’t moving into a smaller space, there are still a lot of benefits to downsizing. A clean and organized space reduces anxiety, improves self-esteem, and can even uncover lost treasures!

Ready to get started?

Quick and Easy Downsizing Ideas

1. Start by Putting Like Items Together

The first thing to do is figure out what you have. Get all of your hats together, find all your shoes, and gather other things together that might currently be stored in different places throughout your home. Once you see how many black shirts you have, it is much easier to pick your favorites and donate the rest.

2. Ask Yourself This Question

Not sure if something is worth hanging on to? Ask yourself, “If I was moving out of state, would this be worth bringing?” Regardless of whether or not you are moving, asking yourself this question can help put things in perspective.

Would it be worth the space in the truck? Do you really think you’ll ever use it again? Would it be worth dragging it across the country, or would it be one of those things that stays in the moving box until you move again?

3. Let Your Space Determine How Much You Need to Downsize

Closet overflowing? You don’t have to get rid of EVERYTHING. Pull everything out, group like items together, and then see how many hats/purses/shirts/shoes/etc. you have actually space for.

If your shoe rack holds 10 pairs of shoes, pick your 10 favorites and donate or discard the rest. Want to keep more? That’s OK too. Get another shoe rack, but remember that this will take up space that you won’t be able to use for something else.

4. Downsize by Volume

When we lived in an RV, gift-giving holidays were always a mixed blessing. It was wonderful to get new things, but it was always a challenge to find a home for them. We started a pre-holiday tradition where we would get an empty box and fill it with things to donate. Then, it was just understood that any new gifts couldn’t take up more space than the size of that box.

The same is true for regular shopping. That new shirt might be just what you were looking for, but remember that it takes up space. To keep your place clutter-free, try donating or discarding something of equal volume every time you buy something new.

5. Always Have a Donation Box in Progress

Having a donation box in progress at all times makes it easy to continuously downsize and reduce clutter. When you finish a book that you don’t think you’ll ever read again, just put it in the box instead of cluttering up your book shelf. If you buy a new shirt, you can immediately put another shirt in the box to make room for the new one.

Plus, it is easier to actually get things out of your house if you already have a bag or box ready to go. As soon as the box is full, put it in the trunk of your car. Then, the next time you run errands, you can drop it off at the donation center.

6. Use it or lose it!

I find this phrase particularly useful in the bathroom and the kitchen. From half-empty bottles of lotions and creams to hair accessories that ended up not being quite my thing, my bathroom cabinets seem to go from tidy to chaotic in no time flat.

The key is to use it or lose it. (It can actually be kind of fun!) Try out that face mask that you never seem to have time for, exfoliate everything, retry those hair accessories, and see how much you can use up (or throw away) in an afternoon. Don’t forget to check expiration dates, and properly discard any expired or unused medication.

The same thing goes for your kitchen. After discarding expired food and organizing your cabinets, you might find that you somehow accumulated 6 cans of garbanzo beans or you have a waffle iron that you forgot someone gave you as a gift 5 years ago. Now, is the time to use it or lose it!

Search for recipes, specifically to use up those extra cans of whatnot before they expire. Try out that immersion blender, see if that bread maker is worth the space in your cabinet, and find out if that ice cream maker still even works. Want to make it a little more fun? Turn it into a personal cooking challenge!

7. Downsize While You Clean

Cleaning can be a great opportunity to downsize and declutter your home. As you tidy up each room, take a critical look at what you own and ask yourself if you really need or use each item. As an added bonus, downsizing while you tidy up goes a long way towards helping you keep your home clean.

Folding laundry is a perfect time to downsize your clothing. Notice that shirt was getting too small? Fold it and put it in the donation box. Have a hole in your sock? Toss it before it goes back in your sock drawer.

8. Digitize Your Documents

Instead of keeping piles of paperwork and boxes of files, consider scanning and storing important documents in a digital format. Not only will this save space, but it will also make it easier to access and organize your files.

This can be a great option for photos too. Plus, once they are digitized, you can send copies to friends and family without having to make physical copies.

Tip: If you don’t have a scanner, check your library. I recently discovered that our local library had scanners (and knowledgeable helpers) that we could use for free. Some copy companies and shipping places have scanners too. Those cost money, but they can be a good option if you don’t know how (or don’t have the time) to do it yourself.

9. Think about the People You Know

Spend a moment to think about the people that you know and what types of things they might need or want. Is your friend’s son moving out on their own? Look though your kitchen stuff for things they might need.

Just don’t be offended if they decline. Everyone has their own taste. However, once it is bagged up, it is easy peasy to just take it to the donation center.

Happy Downsizing!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas for downsizing. The key is to remember that just because you’ve gone through things once, doesn’t mean you are finished forever. Continually look for things to add to your donation box, and reduce your buying so that you don’t get over-cluttered again.

Remember that everything you buy needs a home. So, if you can’t think of where to put it, don’t buy it!

Looking for ideas to improve your living space? Check out our list of productive things to do at home!