Downsizing your life in the new year

Shopping is a regular pastime for many people across the country, as there’s always an excuse to make a trip to the store or spend some time online browsing the latest fashion trends.

For some, shopping provides a sense of relaxation after a busy day at work, while others take advantage of the activity as a means to get some walking done and stay healthy. Whatever the reason, there’s no shortage of stores, kiosks, sites and retailers ready to sell you anything you want.

However, with a constant stream of new purchases coming into your home, you might soon find all the useful space in your house dwindling. In fact, Americans are increasingly spending money on non-essential items, such as jewelry and electronics, rather than on essential ones, such as food and fuel. Using data gathered from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bloomberg View found spending on these non-essential goods has averaged an annualized growth rate of 3.3 percent in recent years, compared to just 2 percent growth for the things we need.

Combining this data with the fact that the average American home has about 300,000 items in it, according to the LA Times, it’s pretty clear that a good number of people can easily identify areas in their homes that could be downsized. Consider these helpful tips when downsizing your life in the new year:

Create a three-part inventory

Make a robust inventory of every single one of your belongings, but with a twist. Divide the items into three different categories: indispensables, maybes, and replaceables.

“List three categories: indispensables, maybes and replaceables.”

Pretend a fire destroyed your home and you had to start fresh with all new belongings. First, list out what you would absolutely purchase immediately. These will make up your indispensables. Your bed and linens. Your more frequently worn clothing. Your computer.

Next, write down all the things you could maybe live without. The bread machine that you never use but that takes up an entire kitchen cabinet or a lot of counter space. The stationary bike in the spare room that does a better job as a clothing rack than an exercise machine. We all have these items scattered throughout our homes. Instead of leaving them to collect dust and take up space, you can shuffle these off to a storage unit for safekeeping until you absolutely need them back in your life again.

Finally, figure out the items that you could replace. This section might require a bit more thought and “tough love.” For example, you might find after some consideration that you don’t have as many guests over as you originally thought, which means you can replace the big sectional couch and recliners in the living room with a single, smaller sofa. Or perhaps, the massive wall-hugging television can be replaced with a smaller model.

Not only will this inventory assist in the downsizing process, but it can also be quite useful for when you obtain renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.

Become a more active online seller

It can be easy enough to list what you no longer want in your home. The hard part arises when it comes time to actually part with these items. Sometimes, throwing away good, usable stuff can elicit feelings of guilt or missed opportunities, while other times, it just might not feel worth the effort to go through with the hassle of disposing of all of this stuff.

You can sell items you don't need online to make some extra cash.You can sell items you don’t need online to make some extra cash.

A great way to overcome this inertia is by using an online channel to sell your stuff. While some of the bigger names, such as Amazon and eBay, are great sites to start with, there are other lesser-known sites that might be more suitable for certain items than others. For example, Bonanza is an online retail platform like eBay that lets anyone buy and sell items. However, unlike other e-commerce sites, quirky, unique, and extraordinary items sell quite well on Bonanza, noted Salehoo.

Use a storage unit

As¬†already noted above, a self-storage unit is an ideal spot to keep the things that aren’t essential to everyday life. In addition, a storage unit also provides you with a place to put things you might only need on a seasonal basis or that you only have to use sparingly. By removing these items from your home and downsizing your life, you not only create more living space but you can also create a calmer and more meditative environment. Contact SecurCare Self Storage today to learn more about the different storage options available for downsizing your life.