Goal Setting

Messy Closets?Moving? Not sure? Staying put?

  • Know why you’re downsizing before you start. Keeping that in mind helps motivate!
  • If you’re moving, and you know where you’re going, you can measure, measure, measure!
    If it won’t fit, get rid of it!


If you’re moving, you probably have a deadline.

  • Ideally, start 3-6 months (or up to a year) before a move.
  • Your goal: know what’s going and what’s staying before movers come to estimate.


Whether you’re moving or not, here’s our favorite way to go.

  • Schedule sorting sessions, daily.
    No more than two hours a day. Concentration lags after that.
  • Work for a week or two by yourself, then you can see if you’ll need help.
  • Start in your least used areas, and work on large items first. This allows you to:
    • see quick results - improves your motivation
    • use these areas as storerooms for sorting the main areas
  • Don’t jump around. Finish one room, closet or cabinet before going on to another area.
  • Make three piles as you work:
    1. DOnations/GIfts/Sales (DOGIS)
    2. Trash
    3. Keep, probably or definitely
  • Deciding what to keep:
    1. Aesthetic/sentimental items
      • Keep it if you love it
      • Keep it if it makes you smile
      • Don’t keep it out of guilt or obligation
    2. Functional items
      • One year rule:
        If you haven’t used it in 1 year, it’s out
      • Exceptions:
        If you didn’t use it last year but KNOW you’ll use it this year, consider keeping.
      • Group duplicate/similar items:
        If you have another one, keep only the best one and get rid of the others. This means you have to sort like items.
  • Pictures and Scrapbooks
    • Place most pictures/scrapbooks automatically in the keep pile, rather than digging into sorting through them. If you insist on downsizing your photo/scrapbook collection, make it your very last downsizing project.
  • Finishing each downsizing session:
    • Get rid of trash and DOGIS as much as possible at the end of each session, or create a sticker system if some items are too large to move right away.
  • If you can’t get your downsizing done before putting your home on the market:
    • Leave kitchen cabinets and an office area for last. These can be fairly easily camouflaged for showings or an open house.
    • Concentrate on eliminating piles, excessive displays/accessories, excessive furnishings, and general clutter. These are all distracting to buyers, and make your space look smaller than it is.

~This cannot be a complete list, because every situation is different. However, we hope it’s a helpful guide. Happy Downsizing!

~Downsize Designs

“… The more stressed we became at various junctures, the calmer they were …During the times we felt overwhelmed, [they]… were at their encouraging best. Like dedicated personal trainers, they were relentless in their insistence that we not make the mistake of crowding all our “stuff” into much less space. Today we are happy campers…” -Harbour Place Residents


Downsize Designs • 757-553-6879 •