Design & DIY

8 things you should never throw out when downsizing

Packing boxes

Smaller living spaces are a growing trend for good reason. People are realizing they don’t need an enormous house or tons of possessions to be happy. It can be incredibly freeing to shed your unnecessary baggage and live big in a small space. And whether you’re downsizing your cottage or your primary home, you’ll definitely have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Go right ahead and junk that old technology (you will never watch those VHS tapes!), those massive clothing collections, and those trendy gadgets that attempt to replace every form of actual human labour. But not everything has to go, nor should it. For convenience and nostalgia there are some things worth holding onto.

1. Beloved books

Let’s face it, if you’re losing half your living space, you can’t afford bookshelves full of reading material. Yet we have to agree, that tactile reading experience is still irreplaceable (especially at the cottage!) Lose the guilty pleasures and the prestige titles you only pretend to have read. They’re all online anyway. Keep at least a dozen cherished titles that appeal to all generations.

2. Art

Beautiful pieces of artwork have high financial and emotional value. Keep the pieces that really speak to you and find inventive ways to display them in your new environment. When you run out of wall space, pass your remaining art onto friends and family who will treasure it in a whole new way. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy it when you visit them.

3. Storage units

With less space on your side, you’re going to need clever new ways to store your stuff. That’s why any potential storage space should be seriously evaluated before it hits the trash pile. Could that old trunk double as linen “closet” and a rustic coffee table? Could those empty cookie jars be a cute option for keeping odd and ends off limited counter space?

4. Multi-purpose kitchen appliances

With a tiny kitchen space, you’ll definitely want to hang on to a few gadgets that wear several different hats, like a handheld blender with a small food processor and mixer attachment. Choose compact items you will use at least weekly, and can easily be tucked away.

5. Family heirlooms

Yes, you’re de-cluttering your life, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about hanging onto Nana’s diamond bracelet or Grandpa’s antique pipe set. Sometimes sentimentality can outweigh practicality. Even if you never get any use out of a few keepsakes, it’s important to hang onto them for the memories attached.

6. Tools

A tiny house, doesn’t mean smaller repair problems, so hang on to all the essentials in your tool box. You never know what you’re going to be dealing with and you’ll save yourself a major headache if you stay prepared.

7. Seating

You will receive visitors, even in your cozy new quarters, and people generally prefer to sit down at some point. Obviously you won’t be able to keep your sectional sofa or your whole dining set, but try to salvage folding chairs, easily stackable seats, and any furniture with another function that can double as a butt rest.

8. Hobby gear

Feel free to chuck all the junk associated with the activities you dabbled in and quickly abandoned, but make sure you salvage the stuff that truly enriches your lives. Skis and tennis rackets may be bulky but if you’re passionate about your hobbies, you’ll make the storage situation work. Besides, the best part of moving to a small space is the opportunity to spend more time outdoors!