Downsizing can be a complicated process and sometimes you just do not know what to keep or throw away. Certain items are harder to get rid of than others. Here are 5 types of important items and how to sort through them properly:

1. HEIRLOOMSOver the years, you may have accumulated quite a few family heirlooms. Although they are all special to you, some will be more important than others. Go through your heirlooms and consider which ones are truly meaningful to you and your family. Keep only the ones that have the most personal value to you. Perhaps there is another family member that would appreciate receiving something with family history?

2. ELECTRONICSIn this day and age, electronics become obsolete quite quickly. If you have a computer that you have had for seven or more years it is most likely not going to work as well as it once did. Go through your DVD players, VHS players, TVs, cell phones, sound systems, and personal music devices and be honest about what you actually use (or have at least used in the past year). You will most likely be able to find a lot of items to get rid of as we tend to accumulate a lot of electronics over the years!

Remember: Do not get rid of any cellphones or computers until you have completely wiped out all your personal information. Even if there is something you are throwing out, (rather than donating), someone might still be interested and pick it up off the curb. Phones and computers contain sensitive information that may put you at risk if they get into the wrong hands.

3. PHOTOGRAPHSBe honest, you probably have too many photos in your house. Photographs are special and they serve as a reminder of loved ones and good times shared, but not all photographs need to be kept during a move. This is a good opportunity to go through your photos and toss away any less-than-perfect images or pictures that you do not know why you even kept in the first place. Remember, we used to print everything so many times we had more than one of the same photo and even the unusable photos were printed. Scale down to only the images that have special meaning. If you want to go a step further and get rid of clutter, there are photo scanning services available that can put all your images on USB sticks or memory cards. This way you can set up a few digital photo frames around the house and have slide shows of all your favourite images.

4. IMPORTANT PAPERS – It is a good idea to get rid of as much paper as possible (it creates a lot of clutter), but be diligent in your organizing. Make sure that you keep all of your important documentation. Anything to do with your finances, personal identification, certificates, licenses, etc., should be kept and stored in a safe and secure place. Any important papers can all be kept in one folder or binder for easy access. Do not worry, you most likely have plenty of unimportant papers that are destined for the recycling bin!

5. COLLECTIONS – If you are like many people, you probably have quite a few collections that you have accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to bring your entire collection of model cars or vintage dolls to your new place. This does not mean that you should get rid of your collection completely, but rather scale down and just keep the best of the best. You can sell the rest of your collection online and reward yourself by buying a nice display case to show off your most prized possessions

Certain things will be easier to sort through than others and it may be a good idea to get a friend or family member to help you out. If you have any questions about downsizing now, or are hoping to downsize in the future, feel free to give me a call at 416-921-1112 – I would be happy to help.