Downsizing can seem overwhelming, but creating an organized process is the key. Here are a few ideas to take to make it a little less frightening.
The first step is to make a list of items you can’t live without. This will make it easy to say goodbye to the items that didn’t make the list.
Start thinning items out 3 months before the move. Paper can be the most challenging, along with photos that are time consuming to sort through. Take baby steps and try sorting one box at a time.
Begin sizing your future spaces and envisioning what will actually fit in them. For instance, if your new downsized living room is the size of your current bedroom, envision the necessary pieces for the space to be comfortable. Floor plans can be helpful when visualizing your new space. Once it’s on paper, you will realize maybe that armoire is a bit much for the available space.
Be sure to heavily edit non sentimental places such as the garage or the kitchen. Most people in a condo or townhome won’t need 15 spatulas or three shovels and a lawn mower.
Being organized is a must. Try not to throw everything away, but instead take the environmentally friendly approach: Recycle, reuse, donate or sell. Consider donating to a shelter, cleaning service or neighbor. To start the process create three bins: Keep, Sell and Charity. This is a great way to divide and conquer unusable items! The goal is to keep ⅓ of your items.
Get some objective opinions if you’re feeling a bit attached to items you’re questioning whether or not you will use again. Do you really need to keep that sewing machine from 1978? Probably not. Your friends, family or neighbors might just be the push you need to realize it’s not realistic.
If you have larger items, try to look for reputable auctioneers or dealers. If you can’t sell your items, donate them to a shelter.
Once it’s time to pack what you are taking with you, color code, numerize or letter each box to a specific area. This way, it is easily recognizable for you and for the moving team.
Now that you’re armed with the best tips, let your downsizing adventure begin!
For more tips, links and suggestions, read Top 10 Tips For Downsizing by Helen Racanelli.