I am regularly asked by downsizers who are overwhelmed with rooms full of stuff, “where do I start”?
My reply is “Start with the easy” or “start with what you know”How many hats do you need?
It is tempting to start with the hard stuff such as items you are emotionally connected to, your favourite things, maybe items loved ones have left – this can be a recipe for being overwhelmed.  Remember that sorting is about making decisions … & decisions can be hard!
So what is the “easy”?
When you have a home full of items you need to sort, there should be items you can let go of easily –

  • stuff you know you don’t want to take – clothes that no longer fit, linen you no longer use, kitchen appliances no longer used or needed, etc
  • it could be compromised stuff, e.g. broken or worn items
  • or it could be items you are happy to donate

Start with these, “the easy” and once you have let some of this go, the amount you are faced with will have reduced, hopefully significantly and you will start to feel some achievement and feel less overwhelmed.  Once you have started to feel more at ease with letting stuff go, you may find it easier to sort through your more challenging possessions.
Remember that our possessions are to support us in our lives and it maybe that when we upsized earlier in our lives to larger homes we bought items to furnish that home.  Now that we are downsizing, many of those furnishings no longer have a role in our lives.  Take pleasure in passing them on to someone who can use them.
You probably won’t be experienced at downsizing (as you probably have never done it before), so be patient with yourself and find a process that works for you.  Call in a professional like me if you need help getting started ….
Take care …

Mary J Harnan BBus, 3a home sorting specialist
Aging Specialist, ICD  |  CD Specialist, ICD  |  Hoarding Specialist, ICD  | Expert Member AAPO 
Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of clients. 
I regularly speak about 3a decluttering, smart downsizing & my 3F’s for letting stuff go