Vantage West Home

Go Small and Go Home: Decluttering and Downsizing for Peace of Mind

The kids have finally fled the nest and you’re left with a house full of stuff and rooms you’ll never use. Unless you’re looking to construct a time capsule, it’s probably time to downsize your life. That means getting rid of those old newspapers and kindergarten art masterpieces and finding somewhere that accommodates your new smaller lifestyle.

Downsizing doesn’t just mean a smaller space, but lower utility bills and fewer rooms to clean. Having less stuff and more space can provide the kind of peace of mind that perfectly suits the retirement life.

But first, you’ll need to tackle those mountains of accumulated things built up after years of living in the same home.

How to Declutter with Ease

Before you get out the trash bags, you’ll want to take stock of your possessions. First, get rid of any duplicate items, as you likely won’t need those spare garbage disposal covers or can openers. Next, you can group your possessions into three categories:

  • Things to keep
  • Things to toss or donate
  • Things you might need

Here’s where it gets tough. When deciding whether to keep or ditch an item, ask yourself one important question: If everything suddenly disappeared, what would I replace? If you wouldn’t bother to replace something, then you probably can afford to get rid of it. Still having trouble deciding? Use the one year rule. If you haven’t used an item in a year’s time, then it’s usually safe to toss.

How to Get Rid of Your Past

By now, you’ve got bundles of trash bags filled to the brim. You’ve made tough decisions and tossed out those decorative whatevers. Now what?

It would be ideal for someone to come to your door, take your bags and put it all to good use, but we know it’s not that easy. Fortunately, there are many options to turn your trash into someone else’s treasure. The easiest way might be to throw it all in boxes, label them FREE, and leave them on the sidewalk. Of course, you might want to first make sure your Homeowners’ Association approves. If so, you can advertise that you did this by adding an entry to Craigslist’s “Free” section or by using Freecycle.

If you think your old treasures could fetch some money, you can sell them on Craigslist or OfferUp. You could also donate them to a charitable organization that would be happy to receive them. YWCA’s Your Sister’s Closet program and Habitat for Humanity’s HabiStore are a few good choices to consider.

New Home, New Lifestyle

Your new home should also inform the items you decide to keep. What kind of lifestyle do you envision for yourself in the future? Maybe you’d prefer to ditch the extra couch and television in order to set up an art room to reignite those old passions.

If you decide to purchase new furniture for your new home, think about multitasking. Multipurpose furniture helps maximize tighter space without making a room look cluttered. Some examples include lift-top ottomans and nightstands equipped with drawers. The key is to maximize every square inch of storage space.

Vantage West Can Help You Downsize

Minimizing your possessions can be a stressful experience while you’re going through it. But once you clear out the cobwebs, you’ll feel relieved to be able to move on to a new, smaller home with less clutter.

If you’re ready to shed your things and downsize, the Vantage West home loan team can help you find the perfect size home to fit your new lifestyle. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit VantageWest.org or call (800) 888-7882.

Loans subject to approval. Mortgage options subject to change without notice. Certain restrictions may apply. NMLS #485751

Share This Article:

More Recent Posts


Every year, September 15-October 15 marks Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans who trace their roots back to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. The celebratory month begins halfway through September to honor the independence days of […]
Sep 15, 2020
3 min read
Tucson-based Dancing in the Streets uses the art of classical ballet to instill confidence, skill, and perseverance into the youth of the city’s south side. See for yourself how art can transform our community in a new episode of Thrive. To learn more about Dancing in the Streets, visit their website at THRIVE spotlights the innovative […]
Sep 3, 2020
1 min read
Keeping true to their name, Pivot Produce revamped their business after the pandemic hit and they lost 90% of their business in one weekend. The business pivoted to providing fresh, locally-sourced produce to Tucsonans who lack access while maintaining its mission to create a sustainable agricultural system in Southern Arizona. To learn more about Pivot […]
Aug 3, 2020
1 min read
Fraudsters are taking advantage of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy to exploit people who have lost their jobs. Here are some ways to protect yourself.
Jul 23, 2020
3 min read