I recently bought a book because I liked the title and thought it might offer some good downsizing suggestions. How to get rid of things more easily ... without taking a long time doing it or feeling bad about tossing something out. I soon discovered that the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, was a best seller in Japan and the author, Marie Kondo, an organizational consultant, something of a phenomenon. I was soon intrigued.
I'm pretty good at keeping things tidied. I'm also good at going through everything fairly regularly and tossing out. I call it doing my "room-by-room" thing. I start in the upstairs corner room, work there until I'm finished, go on to the next room, the next, etc. Fortunately, I have a place where I can temporarily stash things I no longer want. When the whole process is over (and this can take days), I then recheck the give-away stash, usually retrieving an item or two. Then disperse the rest.
But I got some inspiration from Marie Kondo's book, as well. Her thesis is to take everything that you own, hold it, and see if it produces a spark of joy. If not, get rid of it. Don't give it to anyone you know. Throw it out. Or give it to a second-hand place. Start with clothes. Then do books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally mementos. Thank what you get rid of. Feel the importance of where it was in your life. Then release that and let it go on its way.
She also advises something my family and I used to do regularly. We'd say goodbye to the house when leaving and hello when returning. The house always felt like a great part of our family--and did, even more so, with that little ritual. As Marie says, think of (and thank) your home for providing you and your belongings with shelter.
There's more, but I'll let you discover her words for yourself. I found that the book started in a rather sweet, simple fashion and gathered momentum as it went along.