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If your home is starting to look like a disaster zone, then it might be time to downsize your stuff. Especially if you have kids, you might be wondering how you can get a handle on all of that stuff. A universal rule is that we tend to fill up as much space as we have, so downsizing can give you the freedom of maximizing your space. Whether you are downsizing to move, or just want to have a little more breathing room, you’ll be on track to be living with only the essentials. 

Decide how much room you need

For many families, you might be living in a space that’s larger than what you really need. If you want to downsize, then it’s time to start thinking about how you want to use your space. Maybe you have a huge living room that is currently taken over by your children’s toys. But if you put some storage in their room (like under the bed), you might find that you can have more floor space back for a part-time home gym. It could be that you have an extra bedroom that has become a storage unit, but by sorting through everything in that room, you could make way for a playroom or a home office, and move your office out of the kitchen. Starting with an assessment of your space can get you on track to see where you can downsize and where.

Do a thorough purge

Maybe the most difficult part of downsizing is purging, and getting rid of those objects in your home that you haven’t used recently. You can follow the lead of Marie Kondo and her KonMari method by getting rid of any items that don’t “spark joy.” Working through one room at a time and one category of your things at a time can be the way to go. You can also use boxes for “keep,” “donate,” and “toss” to help you sort through your stuff. This can help you move through items quickly and keep up your motivation to downsize.

Get the kids involved 

When it comes to getting rid of stuff, you want the kids to get involved too. If you give kids the three boxes and explain to them that they can pass on toys they aren’t using anymore to a friend or an organization for kids in need, then they might be more likely to be willing to part with toys or books. It might be difficult for them at first, but you can also remind them that if they get rid of a certain number of items, then they can trade them in for something new.

Get organized

Using your space well is all about getting organized. Once you have downsized items in your home, the organization will keep you on track to keeping open space. Drawer dividers, under-bed storage, and wall cubbies can take your home from cluttered to streamlined. Creating a designated space for everyone — for example, by the front door — can help keep everyone organized even with busy schedules when you are rushing out the door.

Downsizing takes conscious effort, but the payoff is an open and organized home that you’ll be ready to relax in. 

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