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Downsizing Your Home? How to Get Rid of Sentimental Items

We're told that we live in a society where bigger is better, yet it seems that when it comes to real estate, downsizing is the latest trend. Led by baby boomers, increasing numbers of Aussies are moving to smaller, more modest homes. Downsizing can bring an opportunity to de-clutter your life and start afresh, but parting with possessions can be difficult. Read on to discover how you can put sentimentality aside and get rid of the items weighing you down.

Evaluate Each Item

Experts recommend asking three key questions to determine whether an item should be kept or discarded. Firstly, do you love the item? This is all about gut instinct. If simply the sight of it makes you smile, then this is an important reaction to consider. Remember that this question is only asking you about the item itself, not what it symbolizes for you.

Secondly, do you use the item? For example, there's a great difference between the good china set that you enjoy using at dinner parties and the good china set that sits in the cupboard gathering dust. The first may be worth keeping, but the second may not suit your new smaller home.

Finally, does this item bring you peace? Perhaps that china set is still in the cupboard because you're worried your children will break it. If you feel anxiety rather than joy around an item, then you might be happier if you let it go. 

Ideally, you'll answer yes to every question posed. Even if you don't, you may decide the love you have for an item outweighs its lack of usefulness. The idea of these questions is to make you think about each item's place in your life now. Three "no" responses should make it clear that the item is not serving you in the way it needs to. 

Get Crafty

Just because an item isn't meeting your needs now, it doesn't mean that it won't in the future. Sometimes a little creativity is all it takes to make sentimental goods work better for you. Those bulky pieces of antique furniture might not work in your new home, but that doesn't mean that you need to banish them from your life entirely. Before you discard them, take a photo so that you can remember them. You might like to display these photos in a digital frame or print them off and put them in a sentimental scrapbook.

What about those old clothes you're hanging on to, hoping that you might be a size 10 again? Those treasured garments can be repurposed as cushions, quilts, wall hangings, and much more.

These sorts of craft projects take your sentimental items from the past into the present, letting you enjoy them now in new ways more suitable for your space. Surely that's better than them gathering dust as they were before!

Rehome Items When Possible

It's easier to part with sentimental items when you know that they'll go to a new home where they'll be as loved and cherished as they were with you.

Firstly, look to your family members. If items belonged to late relatives, others in your family may be willing to take them off your hands. Friends may also like some of the items you're parting with. Take photos of the goods and post them on your favourite social networking sites. What you have no need for might be just what your friends are looking for. If the people who gave you the items are still around, offer them back to them. This way there'll be no hard feelings later if they find out you've offloaded their gifts.

Once you've exhausted your own social circle, look to the wider community. A garage sale could help you make some extra money to cover moving expenses. Alternatively, think about donating the items to your local Salvation Army or Vinnies store. The donations these stores receive help these worthwhile charities continue their good work. Knowing that you're making a difference should make parting with your items much easier.  

Keep It in Perspective

Many of us hold on to sentimental items because they're linked to memories. You might have your late mother's dressing table because you remember watching her brush her hair at it when you were little, or maybe you have a small wardrobe that you used to store your child's baby clothes in when they were small. But take away the dresser and you still have the memory of your mother brushing your hair. Take away the wardrobe and you can still remember dressing your child as a newborn. The memories live within you, not the things from your past. If you're not using the items now, or you know that you cannot use the items in your new home, then they're holding you back.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and no one says that you can't hold on to items that have great sentiment to you. But if sentiment is the only thing that stops you from getting rid of an object, it's time to let it go. Sentimentality should be a safe place to reminisce rather than a barrier that stops you from living your life. Think honestly about how it's working for you.

It might be difficult at first, but getting rid of the sentimental items you've held on to can help you move forward into a bright new chapter in your new home. You'll want the items you do keep transported in a safe and efficient manner, so contact Chess Moving for a quote today.

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