Tips for Downsizing & Decluttering Your Home

It’s time to downsize or declutter your home.  But where do you start?

Here is a simple process that you can follow that will help you get from where you are now to where you need to be.  Remember, to start is to get closer to the finish!


  1. Sort items into four piles:
    1. Keep: you absolutely LOVE this item and you use it!
    2. Donate, give-away, sell, gift: you haven’t used it in a long time (more than a year), you no longer use, need it or want it.
    3. Recycle: paper, plastics and metal.  Place paper in one bag, and plastics and metal in another.
    4. Trash: items that are broken, stained, too old to use, do not work.
    5. Belongs to Someone Else: you may need a fifth pile if you have items that belong to someone else.  If you do have items that belong to someone else, box them appropriately, mark their name on the box and tell them you have a box of items that belongs to them.  If they want them, you can bring it to them or they pick it up.  If they do not want them, then donate them.  Get them out of your home.


1.   Start with one area in one room at a time and don’t leave it until it’s done.  For example, if you are starting in a bedroom, then pick one area to focus, like a bookcase or a dresser.  Do not move onto another area until that first area is completely sorted.

2.  When you pick up an item, make an immediate decision. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by the story behind it, the past and what it meant.  If it has great meaning to you and will help you in the future, then keep it.  If it has great meaning because it represented a special time or place in your past, hold onto the memory and let go of the item.  Things have energy and they either give us more energy or take it away.  You can photograph all the items that bring back special memories and add them to your album of special things.  The memories will always be there.  The physical object does not have to be.

3.  Set a time each day/week to focus on one area in one room. If you have more energy in the morning, then block off an hour or two and stay on task.  Don’t let the phone or other things distract you.  Stay on task and complete it before moving onto something else.

4.  Don’t be hard on yourself. Having let things go or feeling like you have let yourself or others down will stall your progress.  Instead, think of this as an opportunity to create a new future,  a chance to start fresh with lots of new and exciting memories coming your way.

5.  Hire professionals for help. There are trained professionals who can help you through the process.  From home transition specialists like ourselves to removal companies, realtors, lawyers and trades people.  Rely on outside help for things that you cannot do yourself and do not have the time or energy to do.  Asking for help will make the transition smoother and less stressful.

And remember…when you need more than just a mover, call your home transition specialists at Moving Forward Matters!!


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