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8 Tips for Downsizing Before a Move

Relocating to a new house is an exciting and challenging life change. One of the most challenging aspects when moving to a smaller home is deciding what to do with all your belongings. Downsizing before a move can make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some valuable tips to help you streamline your possessions and ensure a smooth transition.

1. Start Early

Do not wait until the last minute to start going through your possessions. Give yourself ample time to decide what to keep, donate, or discard. Starting early reduces the chances of making hasty decisions you'll later regret. How early should you start? This is where planning comes in.

2. Create a Plan

Before diving into your downsizing project, develop a plan. Decide which rooms or areas you'll tackle first, and set realistic deadlines for each. A structured plan keeps you focused and motivated throughout the process. By its very nature, the plan will tell you how much time you'll need to complete the downsizing. But add a couple of weeks to the timeline to be safe.

3. Categorize Your Belongings

Sort items into categories: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Creating these categories helps you see what you're dealing with and prevents unnecessary emotional attachment to items you don't need. As you go through the downsizing process, create a physical space for each category if possible. 

4. Assess One Room at a Time

Tackling one room at a time can make the process more manageable. Start with areas with less sentimental value, such as the kitchen or bathroom, and gradually move to more emotionally charged spaces like bedrooms or the living room. As you move from one room to the next, you will develop your own "system," and the process will go faster.

5. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

When deciding whether to keep an item, ask yourself questions like, "When was the last time I used this?" and "Would I buy this again today?" If the answers indicate that the item isn't valuable to your current life, it may be best to let it go. Also, is the item something you will likely replace soon? If so, perhaps donating, discarding, or selling it before the move is a good option. 

6. Digitize When Possible

Reduce physical clutter by digitizing documents, photos, and other paper items. Scanning and storing them on a cloud service or external drive can save space and make access easier. Before eliminating the papers, consider any retention requirements, such as tax documents.

7. Host a Garage Sale

Turn unwanted items into cash by hosting a garage sale. This helps you declutter and provides some extra funds that can be useful during your move. Alternatively, consider using online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

8. Donate and Recycle

Items that are still in good condition but that you no longer need and can be donated to local charities or shelters. Recycling is also an excellent way to dispose of items responsibly, reducing your environmental footprint.

Downsizing before a move can seem daunting, but with careful planning and a strategic approach, it can be an empowering experience. Not only will you lighten your load, but you'll also find it easier to settle into your new home, surrounded only by the items that truly matter to you.

Are you planning a move? Contact us for a free move quote!