Stuff. We all have it, and likely we have a good bit more than we really need.

It’s hard to say for sure how stuff accumulates over the years, but usually if there’s a closet (or an attic or a garage or a bona fide storage room), it’s been nicely filled with this, that and the other. Some are prized possessions, others have some regular purpose, and others – well, sometimes you can’t even remember where it came from or how it got there.

The biggest fear of downsizing seems to be what to do with all the stuff. The decision on what to keep is in itself a little daunting. What will you need in your next home? What will fit, and what won’t? How can you possibly say goodbye to this, that, or the other?

Once you’ve narrowed down the “keeps” from the “don’t keeps,” the next challenge is how to get rid of the “don’t keeps.” Can you get some good money for certain items? Who, what, where, how and when – those questions quickly arise as well.

If this is something you don’t do every day (and, frankly, most of us are in the business of adding to our collections, not divesting of them), the pathway from here to there can seem foggy at best.

There’s good news here, though, because you’re not alone, and the marketplace knows it. Move managers, auction houses, online sales agents, movers, packers, apps, and more are all geared to handle the increasing volume of folks who are looking to downsize and simplify their stuff (and their lives).

And, best of all, word has it that the “grass” really is greener on the other side. It just takes some focus, time and assistance to get there.

In fact, more and more people are adopting the notion of pre-downsizing, in which they stay well ahead of the curve by making the downsizing move before they really need to. This approach takes advantage of energy, enthusiasm, and drive that might otherwise be absent at a later age.

The rewards of pre-downsizing can trickle down to family, friends and caretakers who all benefit from less complicated logistics during what is often already a very emotional move and transition.

So, take a good hard look at your stuff, start thinking about a game plan, and before you know it (if you can get ahead of the curve, and allow enough time), you’ll be delighted and relieved to be surrounded by your truly favorite things in your new home.

What happens next is where the fun begins.

To learn more about how to downsize and what to consider, join us for a complimentary Downsizing Workshop from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 9 at Park Lane Hotel on Hilton Head. To register, call Ashley at 843-837-6700.

Chip Collins is the broker-owner of Collins Group Realty or