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If you’ve ever had to pack up all your belongings and move, you know what a chore it can be to get everything under control and ready to go. It might not have been quite so bad as long as you’ve always moved from a smaller home to a larger one. But if you’ve reached the point where it’s time to downsize and move into a smaller space, you face the task of decluttering, getting rid of belongings accumulated over many years.
Regardless of the size of your household, there are several steps that can help you downsize wisely and thoughtfully whether you’re a young couple just getting started or an older adult looking to begin a simpler, more manageable life in a smaller home. If you’re planning to move be sure to hire a reputable packing and moving company who can safely move your possessions from one home to another.
Some people become impatient with the idea of downsizing, rushing to get it all done in a day or two. While that may have a certain appeal, especially if you’re in a hurry, it’s never a good idea. No matter how much you need to downsize, there will always be items you want to keep, items with special meaning that you don’t want to lose. Taking it slow and being methodical will help you stay organized and avoid making mistakes.
One of the nice things about downsizing and moving to a smaller home is that you can get rid of or give away furniture and other large items you know won’t fit. No need to drag it all along with you, only to have to clear it out once you get there. Measure the square footage of your new home and determine what won’t fit. If you’ll have three bedrooms instead of four, at least one bed can go along with a dresser and side table. That’s a pretty good start – it means you’ve already lightened your load and opened up space.
Examine your new floor plan to see if you need to downsize any living room or dining room furniture as well. Goodwill, The Salvation Army and other charitable organizations will be delighted to take whatever you’re not going to keep.
Deciding on the little things
Going through all the small stuff, the clothing, shoes, knick-knacks, papers, souvenirs, bedclothes and more will take some time and thought. Break it up by going room by room and making separate piles based on what you’ll keep, give away, or throw out. This is where you want to avoid the temptation to make a clean sweep. Instead, handle each item briefly before deciding. Is it something you’ve used within the past 12 months? Will you need it in your new home? Does it have any real sentimental meaning to you? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, put it in the giveaway or throwaway piles.
Take special care to get rid of duplicate items, those old suspenders, box of shoe horns, or extra hot-air popcorn poppers. People often allow duplicate items to pile up not through neglect but through inattentiveness – it can be easy to lose track of how many you have of certain items.
Plan your storage
Give some thought to your new storage space when you’re deciding what to keep. You might need to get rid of more than you’d thought. Go through each box and be discriminating. You should avoid making an “I’ll-think-about-it” pile. That’s just an excuse for not dealing with the problem and a surefire way to fail in your aim to declutter. If you have lots of loose documents and papers, scan anything you’ll need to keep and store it on your computer’s hard drive. Old ATM slips, old statements and canceled checks from years ago can be shredded. Organize everything according to whether it needs to be kept, or shredded and recycled.
Decluttering your belongings can be a difficult emotional ordeal. As such, it deserves the time it’ll take to go through your home and make objective, honest decisions. Remember, you’re trying to right-size your life for a new home and lifestyle.
If you’re planning to downsize sooner rather than later in North Ellis, South Dallas, and Tarrant counties, reach out to your realtor Don Baker, and he can help you throughout the entire process.
Article provided by Gene Ramsey from DownsizingDad.com.