8 Top Downsizing Tips!

Moving can be a very stressful time, but add downsizing to the situation, and it can be even more stressful. Whether you are an empty nester, senior, or someone who is in a 3 bedroom condo moving to a studio apartment, there are lots to consider when downsizing.

Here are 8 Top Downsizing Tips designed to make the process easier.

1. Make a list of all the big items that you really want to keep and then evaluate your wants versus your needs.

Your list should contain items that you feel you really want to keep, but then go back over it and decide if there is anything on that list that you really do not need. If you are able to cut back on your list, that means less packing, less items to move and more living space at your new home.

2. Start going through your personal belongings at least 3 months before your move.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Take an hour each day, or a half day per week and go through those packed closets, drawers or cupboards. Kitchen utensils, mixing bowls, and Tupperware are areas you can tackle early and won’t mind letting go. If you have lots, keep what is necessary. The garage is another area that you can focus on. If you are downsizing to a condo or retirement home, you will not need the snow blower, lawn mower, gardening tools etc.

3. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then focus in one area.

Downsizing can be very emotional and overwhelming. If you have the feeling of not knowing where to start, then start with one room, one corner, one drawer, one closet, one cupboard etc. Once you are done in that area, you can move on to the next. It takes time but you will get through it.

4. Let go of specialized items that are rarely used.

If you collect items that are rarely used and are often kept in storage, now is the time to let them go or perhaps keep one of those special items. For example, Christmas hand towels or glassware. Instead replace them with year round glassware and hand towels.

5. Recycle, donate, sell, or if you have to, put in the garbage.

Only put items in the garbage that are broken or that are of no use to anyone else. Auctioning off your items is an option if you have several items, or calling consignment stores and antique dealers to see if they would be interested in your items. If you want to give your items away, you could have an Open House for friends and family members and let them know you are giving away certain items. Don’t feel offended if they do not want your older furniture or knickknacks. Another option would be to donate your items to your local charities such as Salvation Army, Value Village, or Women’s Shelters.

6. Not sure what to keep? Ask!

If you are having a hard time deciding what to keep and what to let go, then ask a second party. Your friend or family member will be honest with you and let you know if they think you will ever use that item again.

7. Ask for room measurements of your new home.

Ask the landlord or real estate agent for the measurements of the rooms in your new home. Draw a floor plan of the items you will be using. This is the best way to get an idea of what size furniture you should use. If moving to a retirement home, have a family member help you with the measurements.

8. Use color coded stickers or numbers when packing.

When I bought my first home, I put numbers on the bedrooms, and numbered my packing boxes with the corresponding bedroom numbers. I remember the movers saying how easy it was for them to do the move and it was easy for me as well. I used numbering for just the bedrooms, but you can use it for all rooms. Another option is to use colour coded stickers.

Check back for more tips and useful information!


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