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8 easy ways to declutter and downsize all your stuff

If you're considering downsizing your home, chances are high that you’ll be faced with the difficult and emotional chore of paring down personal objects and possessions to fit a much smaller living space. And as anyone knows, moving becomes especially hard when you have make a quick decision about what stays and what goes.

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10 ways to organize your desk, media center, pantry

Play Video - 1:12

10 ways to organize your desk, media center, pantry

Play Video - 1:12

Thankfully, professional lifestyle organizer Amelia Meena can point you in the right direction. For years, Meena, who runs Appleshine out of New York City, has helped clients de-clutter, organize, re-design and even manage their time. Here are her favorite eight ideas on how to pack up and move on with all the right things for your new home.

RELATED: Want to revamp your living room? Here are small changes that make a big impact

How to downsize (and declutter) like you mean it! 8 rules a professional organizer swears by:

  1. Make a plan and stick to it as closely as possible. Create the plan depending on your timeline to pack up and move out — it might be weeks, months or even days!
  2. If time allows, schedule garage/yard sales within that plan to help move things out of your space. Why not make a profit for all your hard work?
  3. While you're at it, schedule charity pick-ups as well to take donations out of your way. Set them for a few weeks out, and then work towards the deadline to gather plenty of charity items to be picked up.
  4. If you've borrowed items from people, make a plan to unload these as soon as possible. If it helps, ask your friend or family to come by and take the item off your hands.
  5. Decide if off-site storage is an option you want to invest in. If so, use that capacity limit for the storage unit to determine how much you can keep (not the other way around!)
  6. Be honest with what you use and don’t use and don’t take things too personally. Not everyone shares the same treasures. If you haven't used something in a long time, ask yourself why you're holding on to it. Don't be tied down by memories or sentiments with everything you keep — if it's special to you and you want to remember it in some way, take a picture to put in a keepsake album and then donate the item.
  7. If you've enlisted help packing, make sure your helpers understand your expectations and goals. Don't let their emotions/preferences get in the way of your aim to declutter and organize.
  8. The goal is to downsize your own home, not to find a new home for everything you can’t keep. In the end, some things may be gifted, donated or sold — and some may be too old/damaged/unusable to pass on.
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