The more room you have the more junk you have. I'm downsizing from what my family calls a mc-mansion to a townhome. I can't and don't even want to take all my stuff with me, but there is no way I'm tossing a single thing in the trash. I'm doing my best to find good homes for everything in my old home.
Books... certain titles are being reserved for friends who I know will appreciate them. Just gave my talk show host buddy, Pete Kaliner, my copy of "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country." I haven't used it as a reference since 1996. I'm sending a few of my grandfather's books to my cousin, Cory, a voracious reader and the up-and-coming family philosopher. The rest of the books are going to Goodwill. Goodwill will also be getting CDs and cassettes from the dozens of one hit wonders I've met in radio.
Business Clothes... Dress for Success. If I'm ever a size 8 or 18 again, I'm sure they'll be out of style anyway. Every good garment deserves to be STYLED before it becomes outdated. I'm a clothes-aholic and downsizing from two big closets to one small one is probably the toughest task of all. Donating those suits and dresses to women looking for jobs... well, that's just the right thing to do.
Dressy and Casual Clothes... Great Things. Its a resale store run by my church for an in the Lincoln Heights community. Its the first business opened in Lincoln Heights within the last 10 years and provides a unique shopping experience within walking distance of neighborhood residents.
Furniture and Housewares... Crisis Assistance Ministry. When families lose everything, this ministry lets them "shop" at their free store for clothing and anything you might need to set up a household.
Elephants... my elephant collection (not the entire herd, just a few dozen) will be scattered among sorority sisters. I already know which ones they've been coveting!
I know I'm not the only one downsizing and this isn't the easiest way to do it. It just feels like the most thoughtful way to do it. It also helps to relieve the stress of moving by taking the focus away from the paperwork and packing and putting it on the positive.... recycling, re-gifting and re-energizing for my next phase.