Most of us just have too much stuff. But when you finally decide to downsize, knowing where to start and what to get rid of can be challenging. So before you start tossing clutter into trash bags, here are some tips for scaling back, from an expert, Jacquie Denny, co-founder of estate-sale website Everything But the House (EBTH)
Toss anything you don't use 80% of the time - You have to cut deep when you’re trying to minimize. Denny advises sticking to the basics and tossing any really specific, impractical stuff. In the kitchen, keep only the pots, pans, and essentials you use to cook with 80% of the time. Remember, less is more.
Don't get a storage unit - Denny says “off-site storage is not your friend.” And if you do get a storage unit, she suggests you toss the stuff after a year in there.
Sell things with resale potential - Check all the books, vases, tableware, and vintage pieces you’re willing to part with to see if they’re valuable. To gauge if it’s trash or treasure, find out: "Is this piece signed by an artist or does it have a significant maker's mark on it? Is this piece one of a kind or is it from a limited-production run? Is this piece made of expensive metals (silver, gold, or platinum)? Is a book a first edition or illustrated by a notable artist?"
Sell art with value - Even if you’ve never heard of the artist, Denny says signed, original pieces resell well and so do prints by well-known artists like Picasso and Miró. Use an online resource, like EBTH to give you an idea of what things are going for.
Keep what you love - "My number-one rule is to always keep what you love,” Denny says. “Nothing is worse than holding onto things that are mediocre!"