Let’s talk downsizing the right way. Moving can be stressful but when you are moving, and you need to downsize it is even more stressful. You can’t take everything you have even if you wanted to. You are forced to let some stuff go, and at times you are forced to let a lot of stuff go. So how do you do that? Where do you start? Here are 7 tips that you need to do to have a successful downsize.
- Start going through your items as soon as possible. This is the sorting stage. Don’t wait until a week or two, or even a month or two, before your move to go through your items to decide what to keep and what not to. Going through items that you have accumulated over the years is time consuming, so start as soon as possible.
- When going through your items, ask yourself the following questions?
- Do I really need this?
- Is this a duplicate? If so, do I really need more than one?
- When was the last time I used this?
- Do I have enough space in my new home to keep this?
- Why can’t I let this go?
- Would someone in my family like to have this item? If so, ask them right away and if they don’t want it, then let it go!
- Let go of as much as you can. This is the purging or editing stage. I remember working with a client once that lived in a large 4-bedroom home with her family and was having a new home built. She sold her initial home and her new home wasn’t going to be ready for a few months, so she rented a small apartment to stay in until her future home was ready to move into. Due to lack of space in her apartment, she put most of her items into storage. When I asked her how it was going living in the apartment without all her stuff, she told me that she didn’t even miss all her belongings. She was managing just fine without them. It goes to show you, that we don’t always need everything we have. When going through the purge stage, let go of all the items you no longer need, and only keep what will fit nicely into your new smaller space.
- Donate, sell or give away. Once you have made the decision that you no longer want an item, you need to decide what to do with it. You can check with family members to see if they would like anything that you no longer want. That is what I would do first. Once family have taken the items what they want, then you can either sell or donate. If the item is not worth a lot of money, it may better to donate it. Drop it off to a charity of your choice. But before you do, make sure they are excepting that type of item you are giving away. Many charities have limited space and are picky on what they take in. If you have a lot of items to sell, then you may want to do an estate sale. There are many different types of estate sales which include on-line selling only, in house selling only, or both in-house and online. If you have a lot of antiques, then I suggest that you reach out to antique dealers to see if they would be interested in purchasing your antiques.
- Pictures and papers. There is usually not enough room when downsizing to bring all your pictures and papers. When it comes to paper, go through your files and only bring what is necessary. Let go of all utility bills, old bank statements etc. When it comes to pictures, let go of blurry pictures, duplicates and ones you really do not care to have anymore. Just keep your favorites.
- Measure to make sure everything will fit in your new home. When it comes to artwork, furniture and other large items, make sure to measure first to make sure they will fit in your new home. There is nothing worse than moving into a new home and having too much stuff or items that don’t fit properly.
- Ask for help. If you find the whole downsizing process overwhelming and not sure where to start, ask family or friends to help you. If that is not possible, reach out to us at Second Set of Hands. We would be happy to help you so you can have a stress-free move. We have helped 100’s of clients with their moving needs so we know the process really well.