Of all of life’s major events, moving is considered to be one of the most stressful. Downsizing exacerbates that stress because it requires letting go of familiar things while adapting to new circumstances. Fortunately, there is a solution decluttering. While it is a good idea to declutter your home periodically, decluttering before a move makes downsizing much less complicated than it already is by nature. Scroll down for foolproof tips on How to Tackle Downsizing in 5 Steps.
Step 1 Motivate Yourself and Start Early
Rome was not built in a day, nor will your downsizing efforts be finished in one. Last-minute packing is overwhelming and inefficient. Movers need plenty of time to decide which items that they will need, discard the things that they do not, and pack the belongings that they choose to keep. Begin your clutter purge immediately after you finalize your purchase of a smaller house your future self will thank you greatly for it.
Step 2 Compile a Complete Inventory List of Your Possessions
An accurate inventory of what you own is essential to deciding which things should not make the move with you. Do a thorough walkthrough of your current residence, making a list of your belongings, whether on paper or digital. This step may take more than one sweep imagine all of the crannies of your home that have accumulated odds and ends. Leave no drawer unopened and no bed unturned as you make your list.
Note each item’s importance to you, its condition, and your first impression of whether it should go with you. Although there are many factors to consider as you choose which items to keep, your initial gut feeling can help you to determine which pieces hold sentimental value to you. If you cannot bear the thought of parting with something, make a note of that. Your attachment to an item may be just as important as its place in your future home.
Step 3 Know Your New Floor Plan
Whether you have access to the floor plan or you need to draw one, a complete knowledge of your new space is very beneficial. It eliminates the risk of mistakenly relocating an item only to find that it does not fit though the front door. Compare the measurements of large items that you would like to keep with the measurements of rooms, hallways, and door openings in your new home. Do not assume that a piece is worth keeping simply because it will fit through all of the doors know specifically where you plan to place items in the house. You may find that you would prefer new, more appropriate pieces in favor of some old ones.
Step 4 Acknowledge Other Important Factors
Some items that you want to keep and that meet your living space requirements may still be unsuitable for your new home. If you are moving to a much warmer climate, then you will have no need for your snow blower. Likewise, a person moving to a landlocked state would do well to reduce their swimwear collection. Outdoor grills, though enjoyable in the suburbs, will likely not be allowed in an apartment complex.
If an item is in bad condition, it is wise to let it go the cost of moving the item plus replacing it when it inevitably breaks is substantially more than simply replacing it after you move. You should dispose of anything that you have not used in a year or more as well, as it will likely not be used in your new place.
By this point, you should have identified which items on your list from Step 2 are worth moving, and which items should start a new life elsewhere. Most of the hard work in decluttering is now over, and it is time to apply the list to the items.
Step 5 Sort and Situate Your Items
First, set aside your “keepers.” While family heirlooms and pieces of furniture in good condition will likely make the cut, you are sure to find many unneeded pieces (read Tupperware containers without lids). Those containers might go to your “discard” pile, along with anything else unusable or damaged beyond repair.
You will probably encounter items that are still in good condition, but not tempting enough to pack and move. Make a “for sale” section for such items, particularly ones that are too valuable to just give away, like furniture or electronics. Though it seems nice to declutter and make extra cash, organizing a yard sale or setting up countless eBay listings can substantially add to your stress. Avoid trying to sell every single thing that is not destined for the dump. Unwanted items like clothes, old children’s toys, and extra home goods are always welcomed by a local thrift store. Direct all such items to your “charity” pile.
In the spirit of Step 1, you should pack any keepers that are not in use at your earliest convenience. The more time you have to do this, the more likely you are to pack and label carefully. This ensures your items’ safety during shipment and your sanity when you unpack them in your future home. Items to be sold, donated, or discarded should be kept out of the way, but do not forget about them completely. Notice times during your week when you pass a dump or a thrift store, and make a mental note that you have business there. Taking advantage of early opportunities to get your items to their destinations eliminates anxiety later.
How to Tackle Downsizing in 5 Steps simplifies to a few basic premises give yourself plenty of time, plan ahead, and organize. With all of your belongings sorted and packed or removed, you are free to daydream about your life in a new home. Your inventory will work nicely as a packing list, and your “for sale” pile might have even generated some extra income. You can look forward to living in a tidy home with less of the items that you do not need, and more of the comfort that you have earned.