How to Declutter to Downsize Collections

When it comes to declutter to downsize collections, I mean anything you have too much of. It doesn’t have to be a collection of Beanie Babies or the like. Merriam-Webster defines collections as something collected…especially an accumulation of objects gathered for study, comparison, or exhibition or as a hobby.

Probably if you are attempting to declutter to downsize collections, it also helps to know WHY you have accumulated these things. Is it for study, comparison, exhibition or is it just a hobby? It’s obviously the feelings you get from having them. Whether it’s feelings of joy, pride, happiness, success or the complete opposite feelings of the fear of not having them is for you to figure out.

First of all, I’m not here to criticize you for any feelings you have about any of your collections. What I do know is that if you are on this journey of declutter to downsize, you cannot take it all with you. As a result, at some point, you have to let it go.

Many of you know, I have downsized twice and currently live in 800 square feet. I also laugh and say I have 2,000 square feet of stuff. I like my stuff and continue to add to my current stuff. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t buy something for my house. Shopping and decorating my house is my favorite hobby. I don’t collect for any other reason. Decorating for the current season also plays a big part in that. I especially love repurposing, reusing and recycling old things. Above all else at my house, everything has a place and everything stays in its place. When you have too much stuff, it has to be organized. Then we can call it organized clutter.

Declutter to Downsize Collections

The first step when you declutter to downsize is always to focus on the task at hand. That’s where so many people get sidetracked. It’s easy to start one thing and then find yourself doing something else.

For example, if you are sorting through your coffee cups, you decide to have a cup. While making the coffee, the mail comes and you take time to go through that. Then your coffee is ready and you sit down and look at the new magazine you got in the mail. Then you turn on the television. Three hours later you’re still watching your favorite Netflix show and you completely forgot you were sorting your coffee cups.

Does that ever happen to you? Certainly, it quickly becomes one of those days that’s over and you wonder where the time went.

Stay on task by first identifying the collection, start small, have a goal of how many items you are going to keep, and then focus. Ask yourself…how much space does this collection take up? And…can you make a decision about it now?

For example, if you have a stamp or record album collection, that might be very different than 50 pairs of shoes, or 100 Storybook Dolls. If it requires research or takes too much time, skip it today or this week altogether. Set it aside for another day. The House Weight Loss Plan is all about making quick decisions and creating a get rid of pile. Surely it’s easier to try on 50 pairs of shoes versus listening to 50 albums.

Some collections take longer than others to make a decision about!

Here are 5 easy ways to get it done:

  1. Take a before picture – or take smaller group pictures of the collection depending on what it is so you at least have a visual memory of it
  2. Remove everything from its container (drawer, bin, shelf, closet, etc.)
  3. Do a clean sweep into 2 piles – keep and don’t keep – you may have to come back to this a few times if your keep pile is bigger than your don’t keep
  4. Focus on putting the keep pile back into the container (if you have time, organize it)
  5. Decide whether the don’t keep pile is trash, donate, sell or give away and sort it accordingly

The object of the declutter to downsize session is to get rid of things you know you no longer want or need. If you are following The House Weight Loss Plan, on Facebook, you are doing a little each week to pare down your belongings. At this point, you are just trying to get rid of stuff. As always, don’t get hung up on your stuff. If you can’t make a decision, keep it. This is not rocket science. Some days you will be more willing to get rid of stuff than other days. It’s just the way it is. And if you’re not in the mood, watch some Netflix and come back to this tomorrow.

Case Study

I have a friend who is selling her house in September to move to Texas. She told me last week, she donated 29 coats to Goodwill – which Goodwill I wanted to ask as my love of coats in me was coming out. That’s progress! But she’s on a mission because she is selling her house. She knows she is moving to a warmer climate but she also knows how much and what kind of space she will have in her new place.

We actually sat down together last week and looked at her new floor plan. She is making decisions about what furniture pieces she will keep and what she will get rid of. For example, she currently has a formal dining room with a long 7-foot dining room table. Her new house doesn’t have a formal dining room and has an eat-in kitchen instead. Needless to say, she won’t be taking that table with her to Texas.

She also donated at least 30 pairs of shoes the week before last. Somewhat due to Covid, her lifestyle has changed as it has for most of us. Shoes she was wearing a year ago, she no longer wears. As much as she’s a shoe girl and loves her shoes, she also knows it’s pointless to pay to move things she no longer needs. Her lifestyle in Texas is going to be much different than her life here.

Your Declutter to Downsize Collections Goal

I donate things every week – some weeks more than others. As I collect new things, I let go of other things. There is a box in the trunk of my car. When I make a decision about getting rid of something, I move it to that box. I don’t think twice about it. Then when I’m in the area of a donation site, I stop and empty the box. If it no longer serves you, get rid of it. I promise you won’t miss it. Life is stuff. And it’s all stuff.

By the end of each week, you should have accomplished something. Have a goal to drop your donation items over the weekend. Get things in the trash by the end of the week. Call your friends and have them stop by on a certain day to pick up things they have said they wanted.

In other words, finish up your week every week. Don’t let one project bleed over into next week. Baby steps with start and finish goals is the way to win the race when decluttering to downsize.

Need More Assistance?

There are many people I help every week on a more personal basis. Needless to say, they all waited too long to start their declutter to downsize journey and now have health issues that prevent them from doing things on their own.

These are people who have no family in town and don’t want to ask their friends to help them sort through their kitchen cabinets. It’s a slow process but when I haul off a car load of stuff every time, it’s a great feeling for them. Some of these people I’ve been helping for a long time. They all have a vision for a life different than how they are living now. And most of them want to move out of town to be closer to family to live out their next chapter. Every week they make bigger decisions about getting rid of their stuff. They are slowly reaching their goals of living life differently.

Are you still wondering why you should declutter to downsize your home? Or are you of the camp that the kids can do it once you’re moved into “the home”? Believe me, if you leave your downsizing to your kids, you’ll be lucky to make it to the home. John Dutton and Rip will have you going to the train station for sure if you have that attitude. (That’s from Yellowstone if you haven’t watched it!)

Seriously, it’s your stuff. Step up and take care of it while you still can. It’s up to you how you want to be remembered, don’t let your legacy be tainted forever because you didn’t take responsibility for your job. Your kids will never, ever forgive you.

If you or someone you know needs help getting started on a plan to declutter to downsize their home, there are many options to choose from. Please call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. We start wherever you are in your journey and that’s different for everyone.

The House Weight Loss Plan and Declutter to Downsize

The biggest difference between the House Weight Loss Plan and Declutter to Downsize is the price. The House Weight Loss Plan is free and the Declutter to Downsize Challenge is not.

Other than that…here are the differences…

About The House Weight Loss Plan:

  • Yes, it’s 100% free. If you ever want to upgrade and join the Declutter to Downsize Challenge, just let me know.
  • It’s a community of other baby boomers on the group Facebook page: (  
  • Every Monday I will post the focus for the week – there is no specific daily task assigned
  • You’ll be eliminating things in your house that you no longer want and need and it will make you feel good about yourself
  • This version is not goal-related – so it’s for baby boomers that just want to eliminate some stuff               
  • There is no commitment and you will be happy to get out of it whatever you put into it
  • You can post your thoughts, feelings, funny stories, and challenges on the community page

For more information about the House Weight Loss Plan, click here.       

About The Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2021:

  • It’s $197 for the year – that’s 12 months of guided decluttering to be able to downsize – which breaks down to $16.42 a month or $4.10 a week. I promise that will come back to you over the course of the year.
  • There is a Private Group Facebook page for others going through the Challenge along with you
  • It’s a monthly focus with a calendar of daily tasks assigned – so you don’t have to think about what you’re going to do today, you just have to do the work
  • This is for baby boomers who have specific goals – you are on a mission to get through your things by the end of 2021 so you’ll be ready to move in 2022 or when the time comes
  • You are 100% committed to getting the results you want by the end of 2021 no matter what it takes
  • By the end of 2021, you should have touched everything in your house. This will be an added relief for those of you who are ready to live your next chapter somewhere other than where you are currently living.

Here’s what you’ll get when you join. You will:

  • Receive your Welcome Packet that you will complete before starting the challenge
  • Get to identify your decluttering personality – yes you have one!!!
  • Discover the best way to plan your own journey based on your house and your possessions
  • Learn that decision making will come easier as you progress through the program
  • Be able to estimate how long each room should take you to get through
  • Master the fastest and best method to declutter any room systematically
  • Know exactly what to do when you feel overwhelmed and get stuck
  • Find out the 3 major things you should never do when decluttering your life
  • Discover how to use your decluttering time to get the fastest results
  • Figure out how to get through this if more than one of you in the house are participating
  • Understand why it’s so hard to part with your sentimental personal possessions and what to do about it
  • Much, much more!

In addition, each month, you’ll receive: (prior to the 1st of the month)

  • Your monthly calendar with your daily to-dos and task sheet
  • Monthly message from Melinda – best practices and how to address this month’s challenge

For more information about the Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2021 or to sign up, click here.

The Real Difference Between the House Weight Loss Plan and Declutter to Downsize

There’s one thing for sure. If you’re a baby boomer and not living in a house where you can stay forever, you will probably have a move in your future. It’s up to you if you’ll be ready to make that move. If you don’t feel like doing the work now, you’re certainly not going to feel like it a year from now.

So, the real difference between the House Weight Loss Plan and Declutter to Downsize is with Declutter to Downsize, you will get it done if you do the work. I give you the plan and if you are committed, you’ll be through your house by the end of 2021.

Who’s Going to Do This if You Don’t?

Furthermore, if you don’t do this and you have to move for some sudden reason, who will help you? Do they know that? And will you be ok with someone else making decisions for you?

For those very reasons I made the decision to move while I still could. I wanted to get settled in, on my terms. Knowing what I wanted to keep was important to me. I had life-changing decisions to make. Plus I never, ever want to be a burden on my kids.

In addition, your life is your responsibility. Don’t expect someone else to bail you out. Do this because you want to. Don’t leave this for your kids or your loved ones.

Lesson Learned

Years ago, I remember when I was freaking out the night before my move. I told my son that I couldn’t do it. He looked at me and said, “If you don’t do this, who’s going to?” He was on crutches from a motorcycle accident earlier that day and my mom was living in my family room and using a walker.

At that moment, I knew I had to get my sh** together. He was right. The movers were coming at 8 a.m. and I was nowhere close to being ready. After all, I’d spent a good portion of the day before my move at the emergency room and then there was my mom. But you put on your big girl panties and do what you have to do.

Solving Problems for People’s Needs

Over the years, I’ve solved problems for many people based on what they told me they wanted and needed. As a result, I’ve created businesses and systems to meet their wants and needs. From My 5 Year Plan to the Model Home Look, they all came about because of people’s needs.

Needless to say, everything I teach people about the Declutter to Downsize system, I have gone through myself. What I’ve found in 34 years of selling real estate and 15 years of working with home staging and downsizing clients, the people who are motivated and on a mission, want me to tell them exactly what to do. They say things like…

“Just give me a list of what to do and I’ll get it done.”

Back in 2008, I created my Move Management System based on the fact that people wanted a list. That system begins with an in-home consultation that starts at $195 and goes to $595 depending on the degree of accountability you want and need. People pay it all day long to have an exact plan to get from where they are to where they want to be.

By taking all of my systems and personal experiences and creating an online version for people, the Declutter to Downsize System, will eventually be able to help more baby boomers. Everybody wants the magic pill or the system to get through their stuff faster, more efficiently and with less stress than they can do on their own. Believe me, it’s never a fun process and the faster you can get through it, the happier you will be.

Still to Come in 2021

Consequently, we are currently working on a DIY Declutter to Downsize Workbook, a 90 day Boot Camp, a 180 day Intensive and much more. We are here to serve the baby boomers that want and need to move because they have dreams to fulfill, they want to embrace new adventures and create long lasting memories. Or maybe they just want to settle in to their forever home like I did and be free to live life large while they still can!

No matter where you’re at in your journey, both the House Weight Loss Plan and Declutter to Downsize will start the journey. Just do something!

Join the free group Facebook community at or sign up for the Declutter to Downsizing Challenge 2021 here.

For more information, call or text Melinda at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Call Me