My husband and I learned quickly how to declutter stuff from our home we didn’t need or want. Sure, a big part of this was because we moved out of a 1,400+ square foot house into a 600 square foot studio apartment, but we knew we were up for the challenge.
We realized that we don’t have to have a lot to be happy. In fact, I now know the opposite is true.
Because downsizing isn’t easy, I think it is necessary to walk you through my decluttering list before and after we downsized.
The decluttering list before we moved were things we realized we didn’t need early into the process. However it is the decluttering list after we moved that really opened my eyes to what we didn’t need.
Everyone is different and the things you need are different from my needs.
So when you see that my iron and ironing board made the list, don’t panic! I’m not telling you that you don’t need them if you use them frequently. By all means, keep them. They haven’t been used in my home in I’m not sure how long, so they don’t get space in my very limited real estate.
Another thing I would like to address is that I didn’t count each and every little bitty item, because the true number would be over 1,000 easy. Honestly, just thinking I decluttered over 1,000 items is crazy!
Things to Declutter When Downsizing
Before I get into my decluttering list, I want to share with you some quick tips for identifying what you can let go of when preparing to downsize yourself.
1 // Declutter Multiples
If you have several items that are the same, declutter them. They can take up a lot of space quickly, so be sure you only keep what you use.
2 // Consider your storage space
Does your smaller home have adequate storage space compared to where you live now? Most likely it doesn’t.
In this case, you need to have a priority list of what you’re willing to store in the space you have. Trust me, if there isn’t space for something low on your list, you really don’t need it.
You’ll make space for what is truly important.
Do not worry with a storage container, unless there are moving schedule issues. A storage container enables indecision and costs you a lot more than keeping things that aren’t as important to you.
3 // Be ruthless and honest
Depending on how much you’re downsizing, you may have to declutter a lot more than you anticipate.
Be very ruthless in the things you keep and honest about what you truly don’t need. Ensure that the things you keep deserve the space they need.
4 // Get it out of the house quickly!
When decluttering to downsize, it is helpful to remove things to declutter from the house as quickly as possible.
This helps you see what you have that you feel is important. Over the period of a few days, your ideas of the things you’ve kept will adjust and you will likely declutter a few more things.
5 // Declutter as you move into your new home
This is very important! As you move into your new home, you’ll see what you do and don’t have room for after you’ve moved.
Don’t clutter up a space just because you kept too much before the move. Give the items a second thought and declutter what you do not have space for now.
Things to Declutter When Downsizing
Anything mentioned in my lists were either donated, sold via a garage sale, or tossed depending on their condition. I believe it is our responsibility to declutter responsibly and not simply toss everything in the trash.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Decluttering List Before We Downsized
Again, I just want to note that just because I don’t find things within this list useful doesn’t mean that you don’t find them useful.
This list consists of everything I can remember decluttering, but I promise there is more. When you’re downsizing you figure out the difference between need versus want, especially if your goal is to be comfortable in your downsized space.
Our specific goal was to have a home for everything we kept, so that we knew where everything was when needed. We also wanted to feel like we still had plenty of space after downsizing and not be cluttered by our things.
Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get to this list! I’ve categorized things as best as possible, so if you’re looking to see a specific part of the list, you can.
Laundry Room / Cleaning Supplies
Old Floor Cleaner
Mr. Clean Sponges
2 Windex bottles
2 Comet bottles
All Purpose Cleaners
Bag Full of Hangers
Decor I Let Go Of
Christmas Decor – one large tote full!
Old Glass Jar
LOTS of Picture Frames
Dinning Room Table
3 Decorative Pillows
34Large Shelving Unit
1 Plug In Wax Warmer
3 Full Size Wax Warmers
15 Wax Bars
2 Decorative Chairs
Kitchen Things I No Longer Needed
2 Recipe Books
2 Large Pots
1 Pot Lid
1 Small Pot
Several Kitchen Towels
George Foreman Grill
Duplicate Measuring Cups and Spoons
Duplicate Everyday Utensils
Several Butter Bowls
Crystal Serving Organizer
2 Sets of Salt & Pepper Shakers
Wine Bottle Holder
Herbs & Spices [by accident!]
Christmas Place Mats
Cruise Ship Glasses
2 Red Solo Cup Wine Glasses
Complete Dish Set with Salad Plates and Mugs
Clothes [several of each listed]
Accessories I Never Wore/Used
Most of my jewelry collection
1 Pair of Shoes
1 Pair of Boots
Brown Cross-Over Purse
Grey Skirt Purse
Office Things I Decluttered
Receipts [no longer needed]
2 Tape Dispensers
Massive Bathroom Declutter
Hair Care Samples
Contact Lenses Case
Cosmetic Roll-Up Bag
10 Wash Cloths
Broken Hair Clips
Apothecary Jars [by accident… broken]
10 Nail Polishes
Nail File Set
Nail Care Kit
Stretched Out Elastics
Old Spa Products
Random Things I Let Go Of
2 Scuba Gear Bags
Individual CD Cases
Multiple CD Holder Cases
Old Dance Costumes [from my childhood]
Dog Feed and Water Bowls
Who knew we had so much we did not need in our life?! As far as the space we freed to downsize, a close equivalent would be a car and a half sized garage.
I will say we were not hoarders by any means.
Having 1,450 square feet to fill allowed us to have that much excess. With the exception of my Office/Craft Room, everything had a place. When we decided to downsize, we no longer had that much space to fill, and I wanted a clutter-free space.
Related Post: Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend!
My husband and I discussed what downsizing would mean in terms of what we owned, and decided the best thing was to let go of everything we could, which led us to continue decluttering after we downsized to ensure we achieved our goals.
Decluttering After We Downsized
This process was a bit different. We moved into our smaller space and after some time passed, we felt like something was a bit off. My anxiety was a bit high, so I took some action to clear out a bit more.
Let me take you through the process of what I did, then I’ll share the decluttering list below that for you.
How I Decluttered Each Space
For the bathroom //
While the first thing I did wasn’t decluttering necessarily, I did paint my aloe vera pot white to create a calmer environment within my bathroom. A small and simple fix!
For the kitchen //
I moved all of the vegetables off the counter top to have more space. Replaced my two small utensil holders with one large basket to hold my utensils better. [I do not have a lot, but some pieces are bulky, and I like having them all together.]
I purged a few items due to excess. [These items will be listed at the end of the post.] I also ordered a sample of fabric to see if it will work to get the kitchen project complete.
For the living space //
I purged my book collection. Looking at it every day reminded me of which books I have not to read, and which book I need to finish. Asking myself why I needed a book helped a lot!
I let go of 40% of my collection by analyzing why I held onto a book! For the books I have yet to read, I read the synopsis to see if it still sounded appealing to read. If it did, I kept it. If not, the library received it!
Below are two pictures of the books I donated. The two towers were easy enough to make a decision on, and the other picture were the two items I thought about before making my decision.
For the bedroom area //
I simply cleaned up the space, put everything in its place, and organized my clothes and shoes. I tried my best to simplify the appearance of what we have.
We do not have an enclosed closet, and having empty hangers bother me! I caught up on laundry and hid the extras we have, so that my mind could release this silly annoyance.
For everything else //
I went through and tossed what was not necessary to keep. I have old sports awards that I want to keep, but I told myself I could only do it if it fit in my keepsake box.
Also, I had a couple of boxes to go through and sort, and was able to clean out all of the boxes and rid them from our space. One box contained random cords, another contained office supplies, and a box of things that accidentally ended up in the garage sale stuff.
Having these boxes out of the space is so nice! Since I do not have or need an office anymore, I took my supplies to work and actually use them instead of storing them!
Now I can look around my home and not see just-in-case boxes or a task I need to complete!
By the time I finished, I had 2 large totes and 2 boxes full of things to donate, 1 sack of things I tossed, and a more tidy space than before I started! How in the world did I still have so much excess?!
My goal now is to have the rest of my stored things organized into the empty totes and get started putting my fall and winter capsule wardrobe together.
Now let us get to the list of what I donated! Starting with the list of home goods, and then a list of the books I gave to the library including the reason why I let go of each one.
Decluttering List After We Downsized
1 Three piece jar set
1 full size Christmas wax warmer
2 plug-in Christmas wax warmers
2 scare crows on a stick
1 scare crow and pumpkin decor piece
1 recycles glass bottle
3 Christmas wall plaques
1 Red Dish
1 Christmas 12 piece Dish Set
1 Serving Platter
1 Snowman paper towel holder
6 picture frames
2 crochet dollies[?]
2 Christmas decor wall plaques
1 Christmas card holder
1 organizer box
3 Christmas gift boxes [decor]
1 scare crow candy container
1 Trick or Treat candy container
2 Red Beaded Christmas Tree cones
22 cabinet hinges [From a project that did not happen. Returned to store for store credit.]
1 Wine Glass
1 blender cup
1 dish scrubber
1 reusable plastic bottle
2 small boxes of tea
1 plastic tupperware [does not match current set]
1 salad lunch organizer
1 pair of earrings
1 blue blouse
1 pair of grey heels
1 vintage cream holder
3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of flip flops
1 random fork
1 feather [decor]
3 Christmas nesting bowls
3 Christmas dish cloths
1 pot holder
1 oven mitt
1 cake pan with lid
3 wooden cooking spoons
1 cookie spatula
1 pair of tongs
4 vintage picture frames
20 old pictures [ tossed… not going to donate pictures of myself of course ]
Several sheets and pillow cases I did not know we had [I repurposed these into shop rags for my husband.]
Downsizing was the best decision we could have made for our lives! It forced us to identify the clutter in our lives and allowed us to let go of personal attachment to items. This freed us from the stuff that did not serve a purpose in our lives.
Looking back at the things I tossed always leaves me baffled, because I had no idea there was so many things clouding our lives that we truly didn’t need.
I know I always talk about how minimalism changed my life, but it definitely changed my husband’s life as well.
If you’re ready to declutter, I highly encouarge you to check out my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge. It will help you not only declutter your physical things, but also your mind!
Also, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!
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