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Whether you’re moving into a new condo or are looking to sell off the “empty nest” you raised your children in, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to get rid of some of your personal belongings. The process of downsizing before a move, however, can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining!
Will you be moving into a smaller space in the near future? By following these simple tips, you can make the transition as stress-free as possible.
Simply Get Started
As with many things in life, the hardest part of downsizing is simply getting started with it! When it comes to moving, however, it is best to begin as soon as possible. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to things soon, only to find that you’ve quickly run out of time. Hold yourself accountable to prevent this from happening! Schedule your organizing. Block out a few hours of time each week and set concrete goals, such as finishing a room by the end of the month or filling a trash bag once a week.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small. Simply organizing one cupboard or drawer is a step in the right direction. For times when the work becomes too much, consider asking family, friends, or neighbors for some assistance. Just don’t forget to thank them with a hot meal or a cold beverage before they leave!
Assess to Find the Essentials
Most of our homes are filled with items that we’ve always planned to use. Do you have exercise equipment that’s been collecting dust? How many odd kitchen gadgets, appliances, and utensils have you accumulated over the years? What old documents and unwanted gifts are sitting in storage boxes in your closet? Go through your home and ask yourself two simple questions: Do I use this? If not, do I love it? Only keep items that are essential or hold deep sentimental value to you. Stop saving items for “someday” and clear out the clutter!
If you have a large home and lots of items in storage, start with these areas first. Clean out your basement, attic, garage, wardrobes, and other storage areas. You’ll likely find that a majority of these items can be sold or thrown away. Finish with the rooms that have the most essentials, such as living rooms and bedrooms. In this way, you’ll have already eliminated most of the clutter before sorting through your most-used possessions.
Account For Your New Space
When dealing with major household items, it is crucial to consider your future living space. The eye can often be deceptive; a couch or table that fits comfortably in your current space may actually be far too large for your future home. Visit your future living quarters and get accurate measurements for each room. Consider how you will store items in your new space. If you’re moving into a small apartment, you might need to install shelves or purchase extra wardrobes and storage bins. If you’re moving in with a partner or spouse, be sure to discuss the items you will each be bringing with you. No one needs multiple sets of furniture or cutlery, for instance. By considering these questions in advance, you can ensure that your new home will be outfitted with just the essentials.
Start Sorting & Selling
Once you’ve identified the most essential items in your home and ensured that they will fit in your future living quarters, it’s time to figure out what to do with everything else. If you have time before your move, consider selling all high-quality, gently-used items. Host a yard sale or sell things on websites like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. Certain items, such as designer clothing and antiques, might be sold to local consignment shops and antique stores. What doesn’t sell can also be donated. If you have a lot to donate, see if a local organization can come by and pick up your items. By handling the sorting process efficiently, you can earn a few bucks and donate many of your belonging to a good cause, too, reducing the need to throw things away.
Once you’ve moved into your new place, it’s important to keep things tidy and clutter-free. Be sure to install shelves and make use of valuable storage spaces, such as under your bed and inside dual-purpose furniture. Get out your calendar and block out chunks of time to properly tidy each room in your home, ideally every few months. By doing so, you’ll be able to maintain a beautifully-organized home filled with items you use and love.
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