older adult going through box of items

When Downsizing Diva first began helping people downsize, we had no idea the biggest challenge facing our clients would be figuring out what to do with all the items they didn’t want, use, need or enjoy.

So began our adventure of finding new homes for surplus items.

Downsizing is an emotional process and often people believe they can SELL their surplus items and make money to buy furniture and accessories for their new home.

In 2001, when we started Downsizing Diva, this was often the case. At that time, we didn’t sell everything for our clients, but we did manage to sell quite a lot.

However, these days, things are different! Here is our new “reality check” for releasing surplus items:

  1. In an ideal world, your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren would want all of the items you don’t want, use or need. Don’t get your hopes up because this almost never happens.   
  2. What you think is valuable, often isn’t. There’s not much interest in dining room/ bedroom suites, collectible plates, figurines, stamp/coin collections...
  3. What you think is junk, might not be. Printed materials like postcards, old magazines, posters, pamphlets and greeting cards (ephemera) and vintage clothing just might be collectible. Who knew?
  4. When you look through current decorating magazines like “Style at Home” or “Canadian House & Home” AND you see your furniture on the pages, you just might have something others could be interested in.
  5. When someone offers money to take away your unwanted treasures, add the cost you’d pay to deliver it to donation/disposal. The offer may now be more appealing! After all, they are removing the items AND giving you money.

When you have realistic expectations about the dispersal of items you no longer want, use, need or enjoy, downsizing is a bit easier.

Take the items you treasure first.

Ask family and friends if there is anything they want and give it to them.

Take a good look at what’s left and understand that donating these items to your favourite charity can save you time and, as they say...time is money!

Karen Shinn

Karen Shinn

Downsizing Diva Co-Founder. Toronto East & North York

Contact Me