At Clayton, we have homes for every lifestyle, and that includes if you’re looking to downsize. Whether it’s because you’re retiring, you’re recent empty-nesters or you just want to live a more minimalistic life, a new manufactured home is a great option. Let’s take a look at tips on how to declutter and minimize your belongings.
Downsizing your home can be beneficial for many reasons. If you don’t need more space, a smaller home will save you money on utilities, and can help you reduce and prevent clutter. But downsizing doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the home amenities and features you love. In fact, if you downsize to a manufactured or modular home from Clayton, you can personalize it to fit your specific needs, without extra square footage and features you don’t want.
So whether you're downsizing because of retirement, to live a more minimalistic lifestyle in a tiny home or just looking to declutter your possessions, the following tips will help you get the most from your downsizing experience.
Any downsizing plan starts with setting some goals. Start the decluttering process as soon as you know you’re downsizing and will be moving into a new home so you can pace yourself and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Some goals can include:
The first step to downsizing is to take inventory of all the items you currently have. An easy way to tackle this is a room at a time. The first things to get rid of are duplicate items. (Even though you might feel attached to them, you don’t need 10 spatulas or all those unused toiletries.) Once you’ve gotten rid of duplicate items, create a pile for things you never use or that don’t have sentimental value, and divvy up that pile up into sections to donate, sell or toss.
Create a separate pile for items you’re having a hard time letting go of and set a reminder to revisit them at a future date. You may find it easier to part ways after a month or two passes by.
As you collect items you aren’t keeping, take the steps to donate or sell them. You can find many online groups in your community where you can sell or donate your items. This process can take longer than you think, so start listing items as soon as you know you want to get rid of them. Note: Always keep safety in mind when meeting someone from online. Only communicate through the platform you’re using, never give out your personal phone number and meet in a public place if you can.
The closet is oftentimes the most difficult area of a home to downsize. After all, you probably have every intention of wearing that shirt you spent a lot of money on. But you aren’t getting your money’s worth if your clothes are just sitting in your closet and it’s too cluttered to really see them. A good rule of thumb is to donate or sell anything you haven’t worn in more than a year.
If you’re moving into a home with smaller closets, one way to keep it decluttered is to only hang seasonal clothes in your closet and store out-of-season clothing in another space. When it comes time to switch your closet out for the next season, take note of every clothing item and if you still want to keep it.
For a more calculated approach to downsizing your belongings, arrange your clothes so the hangers are all facing one direction. As you wear your clothes and hang them back up, face them the other direction. Give away or sell whatever hasn't been worn after a full year.
Of all the rooms in your home, your family probably spends the most time together in the kitchen. As a result, everyone's kitchen tends to accumulate appliances, dishes and other kitchen tools that aren’t really necessary.
Downsize your kitchen possessions by throwing away or donating any "one-trick pony" appliances that you don’t really use, which could be things like rice cookers, panini presses, waffle makers and toasters. If you’re an avid cook, consider investing in multipurpose appliances like an air fryer that also roasts, bakes and grills to help reduce the number of appliances you need.
Dishes are another item that tend to pile up. While some people still choose to have that nice china set for special events, many homeowners are now choosing sturdy dishes that can be used for both everyday dining and dressed up for holidays.
The most important part of downsizing is to keep your home decluttered after all the work you’ve done to get it organized. And the best way to prevent clutter from building up again is this one rule: If you buy an item, you have to get rid of an item. This allows you to still buy and enjoy new things without collecting too much stuff.
And the best part of downsizing when you move is that it encourages you to get rid of clutter, so you’ll have more space in your new home to spend time in with friends and family. Plus, decluttering will save you time and money in the long run.
If you’re interested in downsizing to a Clayton Built® home, you can ask a home consultant at your local home center about custom home features we offer, like built-in storage and walk-in pantries, that will help you neatly store the items you’re keeping. And don’t forget to check out our home organization guide for more tips on decluttering.
Begin the home buying journey by following these easy steps.