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Don’t downgrade, downsize

Downsizing can be a great way to get a fresh start.By Kristy Alpert

Although generally reserved for empty nesters, downsizing comes in all shapes and sizes and can be a positive way for anyone to cleanse from the past while getting creative with the future. Downsizing to a smaller space will certainly take some adjustment, but it’s definitely not as daunting as it may seem if you have the right mindset.

“In planning for a smaller space, you can make the transition easily if you have planned well for your needs,” says Ellen Delap, certified professional organizer, certified family manager coach, and productivity consultant at “Plan your space according to your current family needs and remember your goals in downsizing, so you do not get discouraged in making the move and transitioning.”

Delap has helped countless people get organized while downsizing to smaller homes, and offers the following tips for downsizing to a more organized and stress-free home:

  1. Establish a floor plan of your large furniture needs. “Make a list of what keepsakes you have, and review it regularly while you are looking for, or building, your new home,” she advises.
  2. Be realistic about your needs. “Ask your children early on to take what they want, so you only have what you need and not more,” Delap says. “You can also make a large donation as a tax deduction for what you are giving away.”
  3. Eliminate as much as possible before you move. “Take this opportunity to create a new lifestyle and simplify as you transition,” she directs. “Create a mindset that the items that don’t fit will be a blessing to others and donate these.”