Get a Head Start
As with most things in life, the earlier you start planning and organizing your move, the better. It comes with no surprise that decluttering your possessions is pretty high up on the list of things you should start doing ASAP, specially since it’s likely that you might go back-and-forth trying to decide whether keeping certain items is worth it.
At Sirelo, we recommend starting to downsize your belongings at least 90 days in advance. This should give you more than enough time to consider which items you’d like to keep –which according to Marie Kondo, should only be those that bring you joy. 😉
Need an extra hand planning the rest of your move? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Our national and international moving checklists are here to guide you throughout the entire process!
Go Room by Room
We’re not going to lie, downsizing when moving will definitely require you to do a few laps around your current home looking for what to keep and what to say farewell to. But there’s no need to stress, below we have outlined a few ways to make this whole process as easy-going as possible.
Take Inventory of Your Items
This one’s probably a no brainer, but to properly downsize your home you must first take inventory of all of the belongings in each room of your house. Start off by looking into every nook and cranny of your home, as these are the places you’ve most likely stored smaller items you don’t even remember owning anymore. We recommend looking into:
- Garages and sheds;
- Spare rooms;
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinets/shelves;
- Basements and attics.
After you go through these, you can go ahead and move on to taking inventory of the small items you store in more common places/rooms, such as those that belong to the living room, master bedroom, etc.
Cross-check the Inventory Lists
Once you’re done creating separate inventory lists for each room in your house, it’s time to start cross-checking these with one another. Cross-checking will help you easily spot any duplicates items you might own. This is likely obvious, but out of these duplicates, select the item you prefer the most and make sure to dispose the extra one.
Measure Large Items
One of the most important tips when it comes to downsizing for a move is to measure the large pieces of furniture you currently own. We can imagine that you’ll likely want to take everything with you. After all, having to purchase new furniture can definitely cost a pretty penny! But the question is, will all your current furniture actually fit inside your new place?
Because of this, we recommend making a floor plan of your new home to envision how (or if) the furniture you currently own would fit in the available space. It’s important that you remember accounting for doorways, as certain items might not even be able to go through them and into the new space to begin with.
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Get Thinkin’ & Get Sortin’
Alright, you’ve made the lists and measured all your furniture, now what? The next step for downsizing before the big move is to actually decide what to do with everything you currently own. This is where things get a bit tricky, but we’re here to help you out with the tips we’ve highlighted for you below. 😉
Follow the One-Year Rule
An easy way to determine if you should keep an item or not is to follow the famous one-year rule. Any item that you haven’t used within the past 12 months is one that you’re unlikely to ever really use, so it’s probably best to just get rid of it altogether. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as:
- Unique/limited edition items;
- Items that would be simply too expensive to replace if needed once again in the future.
At the end, we know that downsizing when moving isn’t easy, but it’s important to let go of the emotional attachments you might have for items that aren’t useful for you anymore. Just because you bid farewell to it doesn’t mean you let go of all the memories associated with it. So stay strong!
Create Different Piles
Once you’ve decided what to keep, it’s time to move forward to deciding what to do with those items you don’t want to keep. We recommend creating separate piles containing:
- Items to donate: Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity are good examples of organizations that are more than happy to take in your donations;
- Items to sell: besides garage sales, online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook can be great places to list some of your belongings;
- Special items: there might be some items that hold too many memories or too much sentimental value, but that you simply don’t use anymore. For these type of items, consider passing them down to loved ones who might be in need of them.
- Rubbish: it’s likely that not all of the items you want to get rid off will be in usable conditions, so don’t forget to make a trash pile.
Remember to Take Breaks
Last but not least, the process of sorting and thinking what to keep/dispose can certainly take a toll on you. So remember to take designated breaks! Sit down, watch some Netflix and eat a few snacks so you can regain your energy every couple of hours.
Go Digital (if Possible!)
Let’s face it, we all have a crazy amount of documents (e.g.: old invoices, instruction manuals) that we keep storing without a specific purpose. If you’re hesitant on throwing these out in case you might need them one day, we then recommend digitizing them and storing them on a hard-drive or the cloud –whichever you prefer.
Consider Your New Storage Space
Last but not least on our list of tips for downsizing when moving, it’s crucial to consider where and how you will be storing what you’ve decided to bring along with you to your new house. Think about how many cabinets, shelves, closets, etc., your new place will have and how much of your stuff you can actually fit in them.
In case you find out you might be needing a bit of more room for what’s joining you on this big adventure, here are some tips that can help you maximize your new space as much as possible:
- Make use of multi-functional furniture —think tables and ottomans with storage space, or a platform bed with drawers;
- Give foldable furniture a try;
- Use vertical storage —built-in shelving can be great too!
Ready for the Big Move?
And there you go folks! We hope that you’re now feeling fully prepared to take on the challenge of downsizing when moving. In case you still need some help planning and organizing the rest of your move, check out the articles we’ve linked for you below. We wish you the best of luck with your move! 🙂