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Downsizing? Here are 6 items you should never throw


Guide to getting rid of things that still sparks joy


Moving from a grandiose mansion into a humble home? Moving in with a significant other? Relocating to a different country? Want to pare down your belongings after binge-watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix over the weekend? All of these require some form of downsizing, and as we know, downsizing is no mean feat.

During downsizing, we were often told what items to get rid of, but rarely about the things that we absolutely must keep. Rather than approaching the subject blindly and doing something that you might regret in the future, follow our guide and learn how to downsize effectively and efficiently.

1. Photographs

© 123rf

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether if we should keep or toss old photographs. On one hand you want to preserve the memories that come with the snapshot, but on the other hand, why keep a hard copy when you can digitise it?

A simple solution to this is to determine how significant the photograph is. If you think it carries much values and memories, keep it. If it’s a framed photograph, keep it (they barely take up any space, anyway). As for the rest, scan them into your computer and create a folder to label them.

2. Important documents

Organise your papers in an orderly manner to avoid clutter ©123rf

Marie Kondo says the best way to ditch paper clutter is to throw them all away. In an ideal world, this method would be perfect, unfortunately, we are living in a world where we were often coerced into dealing with piles and piles of paperwork that could ultimately exert huge influence on our lives.

What you need to do is to take every single document that you’ve kept and laid it out in the open. Then, organise them into two categories: Keep or throw. Once you’re done, separate the “keep” pile into three different groups:

Papers that requires immediate attentionMonthly bills and forms that need to be filled in
Papers to keep short-term Warranties, tax documents and receipts
Papers to keep foreverHouse mortgage, birth certificates, contracts, marriage licenses, passports, wills, investment records, education certificates

Finally, file them accordingly in a folder or binder and label them so you don’t accidentally take the wrong document.

3. Personal collections

© 123rf

For those who enjoy collecting items — be it toys, cards, Starbucks tumblers or postage stamps — no doubt you will find it extremely difficult to let go of your collections. After all, it’s something you’ve spent months or even years to source, so it’s only natural if you want to hoard it till the end of time.

However, there are times when you need to get rid of it, like when you’re downsizing. For times like this, select your favourites — nothing more than five — and donate (or sell them for the extra moolah) the rest. If you’re having a hard time letting them go, remember this: It’s better to keep and display a few than having them boxed away in the corner and never see the light of day.

4. Sentimental items


Items that hold sentimental values are practically priceless. These are the things that mean the most to you and it’s just something you would not be able to replace. Which is why, you should treasure and honour them by not only giving them a place in your home, but to preserve them by safekeeping them in a box, or if you rather, exhibit them out in the open.

5. Emergency supplies

Don’t forget to bring these supplies along when you move ©123rf

Imagine you just move into a new home and the area that you’re living in experience a power outage. Your phone battery is running out of juice and you just realised that you didn’t bring any flashlight or landline phone with you when you move. So now you had to wait in the dark (literally and figuratively) until the power is back on.

No one wants to be caught in a situation like that, especially when you just moved into a new place. It’s not a pleasant experience and it’s certainly something that’s completely avoidable if only you brought all your emergency supplies like flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, matches and yes, even a landline phone with you. If you don’t have any of those, now is the best time to get them!

If you’re unsure what to get, take a look at the list that we’ve prepared for you:

  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Matches
  • Candles
  • Landline phone
  • Swiss army knife
  • Duct tape
  • Tool kit

6. Supplements and medications

© 123rf

Unless they’re broken or required replacement, you don’t have to throw any of your toiletries away. Besides, it’s always good to have an extra toothbrush or toilet roll with you after you move in. Chances are, you’ll be too distracted by things that demand your immediate attention to think about replacing them, especially during the first couple of months. And who knows, the extra toilet rolls may come in handy.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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