Spring is in the air, which means now is a great time to organize, clean and de-clutter your home. This is especially true if you're considering a future homeshare arrangement. Home sharing offers many benefits to both housemates and householders, but in both cases requires a little preparation first. Here are our downsizing and organizing tips for housemates and householders:
Start early and small
Whether you're moving from your own home into someone else's or are configuring your home for a new housemate, start early, so you don't feel rushed. Give yourself time to reminisce and acknowledge the emotional element of de-cluttering.
Also, start small, tackling one closet, storage bin or cupboard in one room at a time. This tactic will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will help you keep things organized.
Label boxes "yes" and "no"
As you go through your things, move them into a "yes" box for those things you'll keep, a "no - garbage" box for those things you'll throw away, a "no – donation" box for things you'll be getting rid of and a "no – sell" box for those things you'd like to sell. Avoid the temptation to separate the "no - donation" box into smaller piles for different people or organizations. When you're done, you can invite people to pick through that box before you donate it.
When you label boxes, it's a good idea to number those you'll be moving and to record the things you've put in each box. This organizational system will make unpacking much easier.
Keep in mind that during COVID-19 it's unsafe to drop off household goods at clothing donation boxes. Instead, call the charity to see if they're accepting donations (and how) and if they are not, then hold on to your donations for now. If space is an issue at your home, then consider reaching out to a local storage facility. Many are still open during COVID-19 and provide a safe space to store donations and larger items like furniture, which will help keep your current living space organized and clutter-free as you go through the process of sorting and downsizing.
Finances are a large concern for people, now more than ever, which means there is a healthy market for selling used goods. However, you'll need to do so virtually and safely. Kijiji has some tips on how to sell goods safely during COVID-19.
Get rid of duplicates
While it may be difficult to choose to get rid of more sentimental items, duplicates should be an easy decision. You won't need duplicates of kitchen items, tools, etc.
Talk to family about sentimental or large items
If your dining room will be a new office for your housemate or you're moving into a space with one bedroom, then you may find you have excess furniture you won't need. In either case, talk to family and friends to see if anyone could use those larger items before you donate them.
Also ask about sentimental items like collections of tea pots, spoons, or barn signs. You may be surprised who in your family would like to inherit your collections!
Only move what you'll need
When the pandemic is over and it is finally time to move, make sure you have already cleared a space for your new housemate (with all excess clutter removed from your home). Avoid moving items to the basement or garage with the intention of removing them from your home later. If you're moving into a homeshare arrangement, follow the same principle and only bring the things that you'll need.
Reach out to the team at HomeShare Alliance for more homeshare advice. As a non-essential service, we're offering online interviews and free phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about homesharing.