Save Big by Going Small: Downsizing TipsDownsizing isn’t just for seniors anymore. For many people, the idea of having less stuff (and having less to take care of) is appealing. But if the idea of giving away your favorite things seems scary, there are still ways to simplify without turning your life upside-down. These simple changes can help you save money and get organized.  By cutting the clutter, reducing waste and focusing on the things that matter most to you in life, you may find that you’re happier and better off financially.

Plan Your Meals

Meal planning is a great way to stay organized, stick to a healthier diet and save money at the grocery checkout. When you shop with a list, you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need or won’t use. Base your meal planning on ingredients that are on sale or in season, and you’ll stretch your budget while reducing waste.

Declutter

The first step to streamlining your life is to get rid of the clutter that’s tying you down. When deciding what to keep and what to donate or sell, there are three big don’ts to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t keep doubles. You don’t need two can openers, two curling irons, or two identical hammers, do you? Keep one and part with the other.
  2. Don’t stash items you won’t use. If you are keeping cosmetics you don’t use, a pair of shoes that don’t match any of your outfits, or kitchen gadgets you don’t need, it’s time to say goodbye.
  3. Don’t keep things out of guilt. Family heirlooms that gather dust don’t honor the memory of loved ones—they create burdens. Clear them out, no guilt required.

Life coach Martha Beck recommends asking yourself three questions when deciding whether or not to keep an item.

  1. Do I truly need it?
  2. Do I truly adore it?
  3. Would I trade inner peace for this?

If the answer to all of these questions is no, then it’s something to donate or sell.

Have a Yard Sale

Downsizing your stuff is a great chance to make extra income. Yard sales are an efficient way to sell a lot of items at one time. But if you don’t have the time to plan and put on a weekend sale, there are other ways to do it. Consignment shops and social media pages that offer “buy and sell” listings are a great way to sell a few items at a time.

Break the Shopping Habit

If your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is a shopping spree, you’re not alone. But leisure shopping can be dangerous for anyone on a budget. Instead of spending your Saturday at the mall, try a nature hike or watching the big game on TV with friends. Get together with friends and trade clothes, kids’ gear, household items and other things you no longer need. If you do buy something new, make a habit of eliminating one item from your closet for every new item you add.

Simplify and Save

A simpler life doesn’t have to be boring. When you reduce clutter and learn to live on what you really need, you just may open up new possibilities in life. It’s almost certain you will save money and time by living on less.