Dealing with Downsizing

Dealing with Downsizing

Sarah Coffey
Aug 4, 2009

To make some extra money, my parents have decided to rent out the lower level of their two-flat condo, and I'm helping them out. We're clearing out the rental apartment, which involves halving their stuff. Being the blogger that I am, I'll be writing about the downsizing process and collecting lessons learned to share with the AT community. We're starting out by...

...establishing a schedule. This helps to break down a big (and honestly pretty overwhelming) project into more manageable segments. We've got less than a month to clean out the apartment, so we're breaking up our deadlines into week-by-week increments.


  • Give yourself a "drop dead" date: a final deadline when everything you're getting rid of needs to be sold, donated, and out of the house. Schedule a van or U-haul for that day so that you can cart all of your donations away.

  • Working backwards from your "drop dead" date, set deadlines for decluttering. For example, you might need to purge your clothes closet, files, and books. Set a deadline for each major task.

  • Do a room-by-room walk-through of your home, and make four lists: 1) Sell, 2) Donate, 3) Keep, and 4) Add. Look at all of your furniture and large pieces, and allocate it to one of the lists. If you're trying to cut down your stuff by half, your "Sell/Donate" and "Keep" lists should be about the same size. Your "Add" list should be very small, and it should include organizing systems or supplies that will help to streamline your space.


Share your recommendations for downsizing in the comments below.

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