In this difficult economic period with a significant percentage of the population underemployed or unemployed and home foreclosures reaching record highs, many Americans are having to learn to get by with less. If you’re downsizing your home or simply can’t afford to upsize yet, it’s important to take advantage of all the space available to you.
No one needs to feel cramped in their own home, so take the first step today by taking inventory and deciding what items are needed regularly, which are needed rarely, and which are not really needed at all.
Items that are not needed:
Consider donating items to a shelter or charity. While “it’s bad all over” may have become a maxim for the last five years of economic turmoil, some people have felt it more than others. If you have holiday sweaters or winter coats you haven’t worn in awhile, they might mean a little to you, but they could mean a lot to someone in need.
Clothing items aren’t the only necessities that shelters here are lacking: see the “Needed Items” list for the Community for Creative Non-Violence, a 1,350-bed shelter in the heart of DC. By donating, you’re not only freeing up space in your home, you’re also helping someone else at the same time.
If most of your clutter consists of items that a charity couldn’t use or if you need some extra money, try selling your used items through consignment shops. Old cell phones that are sitting in a drawer can be recycled for as much as $125 through services like SecureTradeIn.com, YouRenew.com and Gazelle.com – you can declutter, earn money and do your part for the environment at the same time.
Items that are rarely needed:
For things like holiday decorations, winter clothes, skis and summer sports equipment, consider storage as an option. Storage doesn’t have to be expensive or even time-consuming. Simple Storage offers inexpensive storage plans where you never even have to transport or store the items yourself.
Items that are needed regularly:
As for the stuff you need on a regular basis, make sure it’s organized. If you just take ten minutes out of everyday to tackle one room at a time, you’ll be astonished at how much progress you can make, all the while developing good organizational habits. Use the “one-in-one-out” rule when buying new things if you’re pressed for space; you buy a new microwave, something else gets donated or recycled.
By using a combination of donation/recycling, storage services like Simple Storage and basic organizational practices at home, you will be blown away by how much space you actually have. It will be easier to find the things you need, move around and simply relax and enjoy being at home.