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  • Rachael

On Downsizing...Or Just Plain Ol' Purging...

This weekend, Georgina is having yet another "Curb Side Giveaway" and while most know that purging is part of the selling process, sometimes, especially when downsizing, it can be very stressful. I know personally from selling a few times, living in condos even, how "stuff" (aka treasures, junk, etc) can accumulate very quickly. It still baffles me to this day how we lived in a 525 square foot loft and STILL managed to accumulate when just squeezing the two of us in was a battle! SO, in saying all of that, here are our top tips for making the downsizing move a bit more manageable!

1- Don't tackle everything in one shot.

Been there, done that, and it causes more stress. One room at a time is easier, and if you are a neat freak like Monica from Friends and you need to live in a tidy space, at least you can shut the door on it until you tackle it again.

2- Measure out for your new home

This move also creates the excitement, among the stress. When you envision your new home (and let's face it, if we could all live in a staged home we would, hello Homes and Gardens!) this is a chance to envision where everything will go, and sometimes, that helps with cutting down the "stuff" That oversized vintage 70's round chair lurking in your basement may not work in your new space....kijiji it, sell it, give it away to a family member that loves vintage or retro pieces...or...put it out for the curbside giveaway!

3- On selling your items

Another road I've been on, helping family members (and of course myself) sell items on kijiji. Here's the deal: most people will try to haggle with you, and it's not about how much you paid for it, or how much it means to you, it all comes down to the potential buyer seeing value in it, and paying what they feel they can and want to pay for it. While selling online can actually be lucrative, it can also be a lot of work, and you must keep safety in mind. I often ensure my better half is with me if it's a large piece, or we will meet the potential buyer in a public place.

4- Treasures

By no means is this blog suggesting you get rid of prized personal possessions! I had a friend who was helping her parent's downsize and they did a wonderful thing. Her mother was into collectibles, but had most of them sitting in boxes stashed on dust covered shelves in the corner of the basement. What they did was unpack them, photograph them and turn it into a coffee table book. Interesting idea. If there are several items, your grandfather's clock, your great aunt's rocking chair, a vintage headboard from the 30's, another idea is to get an appraiser into the home to look at these valuable items.

5- Donating

In this day and age, there are no shortages of charities that could use some help! Look at local charities, some even have pick ups (Diabetic Association as an example) If you have building materials, if you are renovating a bathroom or a kitchen and have perfectly usable items like a dishwasher or old vanity, Habitat for Humanity has a wonderful store "ReStore" that will take these items, and if you tally over $200 they will issue you a tax receipt...


This is an idea I have seen all over the city. Cute little "houses" on posts out front of someone's house with a wee little sign saying "FREE LIBRARY: Take One, Leave One" As a book lover and hoarder (one thing other than shoes I won't part with) this is such a brilliant idea, not only environmentally friendly, but encouraging the use of books rather than a nose and finger stuck to a smart phone, and better yet, wasting away in a landfill... for the record, I do love my smart phone. Other options for everything, not just books is to join FREECYCLE network in your area. One man's trash is another man's treasure right?

7- Yes, No and the Maybe pile..

We all know this move. We've seen it on shows, tried it with our closets...Making the YES the NO and the MAYBE pile....I've had a maybe pile accumulating in our storage locker, with pieces I can't BEAR to do without....guess what, I haven't touched it in a year...BANISH THE "MAYBE" PILE!

8- Call in the truck!

Sometimes when it comes down to the wire (and again, I speak from personal experience) it helps to call in the biceps, a truck for hire and pay to play. Hire a company to remove the junk. Create a pile for them and let them haul it away for you.

9- Helping Seniors Downsize

This can be tricky. Helping parents or grandparents make the downsizing move can be very difficult for everyone, sometimes, to make this a more manageable, less stress experience, call in some help. There are companies that specifically work to help seniors transition to a smaller space. Having experts who have faced the challenges can be very valuable.

10- Smile

I know, honestly, how stressful this can be, every single point I have been through or tried. Do whatever you are comfortable with, remember that moving is an adventure! Without a doubt, every time I have moved, I have cried. It's hard! You can get so attached to thing, a home, a habit, but when you are moving, you are embarking on a new adventure! Even purging is an adventure! It can be hard, but don't forget to smile and think about how wonderful the future looks!

On that note, I am now reminded of a 5x7 storage locker I need to remove the "maybe" pile from! Georgina Curbside Giveaway is happening this weekend on Saturday from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm.

*Please note, this blog is not intended to solicit those home buyers or home sellers that are under a current agency agreement.

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