Wondering how to downsize for a move properly must be one of the most challenging questions. Although courage is one of the key ingredients for a successful relocation, it’s the preparation that makes it perfect. Particularly if you belong to those 60% percent of people living in spacious homes who say they’d definitely choose a smaller one next time. Even if your current place is not that big, you still have to learn what to get rid of.
That’s why we’re here, with a handful of tips and tricks to guide you through the relocation process and help you stop holding onto the items you no longer need.
#1 Prepare to Downsize for a Move
Whether you are relocating for the first time or already know what lies ahead, there are many things to do if you want to know how to prepare for a move appropriately and move efficiently. Cutting down on your inventory is unarguably a unique piece of advice, and one of the best relocation hacks you can get before you start with the process.
We’re sure you’d like to take all your pots and pans with you, not to mention that you want to pack pictures and your precious memorabilia in that one truck. But, to do that, you need an organized approach and all the relocation tips you can find, and then – only maybe – you can pack quickly enough all of your collectibles and belongings.
Also, remember that you can’t be intimidated by learning how to leave things behind. It’s the critical task that leads to a stress-free relocation. And believe us, it’s a mountain worth climbing.
Planning Everything Ahead Is Your Best Way Out
Relocating to a new city means months of a tight schedule for anything else but moving-related stuff. You’ll probably even be dreaming about hiring movers, and don’t be surprised if renting a home hunts you down long after you settle in. These stressful steps are inevitable if you want a smooth transition, which is why you have to give yourself plenty of time to handle it. The more time you have, the easier it will be.
Whatever your reasons to move are – whether you are doing it for love or maybe trying to advance your career, so you’re relocating for a job – don’t let excitement or panic overwhelm you. Start early enough and take at least a couple of weeks to downsize your current space and prepare for the future one.
Make a Thorough Household Inventory to Organize Yourself Better
Did you know that an average American owns approximately 300,000 things? Yup, you read that right. With that in mind, you may want to give up downsizing right now. But, not so fast, because we have a solution.
Consider creating a thorough home inventory list as your primary tool for a successful transition. With it, you’ll quickly assess and manage belongings accumulated over the years. Not only will it make eliminating unnecessary things easier, but it will do wonders for the packing and unpacking process.
No matter if you decide on a photo inventory or the pen-and-paper method, with an inventory checklist, you’ll identify each and every item you possess, as well as their condition. Furthermore, you’ll get to think right away about the things you do not find meaningful or necessary and note them down. Thanks to this list, you’ll have a whole strategy figured out.
#2 Downsizing Your Home Before Moving Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Clutter
Once you start going through years of living in one place, you’ll quickly catch yourself wondering, “How do I start decluttering to move? Moreover, with your new apartment shopping list, you’ll know you have to do it because you are well aware that most of the old things you own do not spark that joy you want for your new home. Some were there to fill the space, some were gifts, and some of them served their purpose. Long story short, you have to get rid of it all.
Deal With Your Belongings in Piles
Breaking one colossal task down into many smaller ones is always a good idea, simply because sometimes, managing it all at once is not possible. If you want to know how to downsize things and keep your sanity at the same time, going room-by-room is your best bet. Also, breaking it down into the same zones like “drawers” or “closets” can do the trick.
This way, you’ll know exactly what’s coming with you and what items you are ready to leave behind. Once you finally sort through your belongings, you’ll end up with several piles in front of you:
- Keeping it pile,
- Ditching it pile,
- Donating it pile,
- Not sure
However, remember that the last one should be the smallest and not just an excuse to haul as many items as possible to your new home.
Earn Some Money by Selling Unwanted Items
After you’re done with cleaning out your wardrobes and home storage spaces, chances are you’ll have a whole lot of stuff ready to sell. Remember that these must be some of your best items, either gently used or in perfect condition. Also, there are two ways to go about this; the first is to get rid of your belongings locally with a yard sale, and the other is to list them online and be ready to ship them. There are platforms like Facebook Marketplace and sites like eBay that will help you sell unwanted items.
Donate the Rest Before Heading off to Your New Home
Old kids’ toys and clothes they’ve outgrown, outdated electronic devices, books, a dinner table you don’t like, and other pieces of furniture – all of these are good donation choices. And you need a plan for all of them. Otherwise, they’ll take up a lot of much-needed space on the moving day. To prevent this from happening, start researching charities and non-profit organizations nearby. Many people in need would be happy to have the things you don’t want to use anymore—for example, Goodwill, local libraries, or any of the Salvation Army Family Stores.
Don’t forget to keep donation receipts, too, because they might be eligible for a tax deduction, which saves you a lot of money.
Do You Need Duplicates?
Your bedroom and the kitchen are likely proof of how much we suffer from consumerism. It is like objects simply multiply there, and you can’t even keep track of them, but you still keep buying them. There are three spatulas, six pans, eight different sizes of cookie sheets, ten sweaters, who knows how many pairs of pants and dresses, and t-shirts all over the place. Are you sure you need them all? Are all of them equally important? If not, maybe this is a perfect moment to think about it and put some of them away into your donation pile.
#3 Use This Opportunity to Digitize Your Paperwork
You’re never sure how to organize important documents – should you send them all to your hard drive and keep them with you wherever you are or have separate storage for all your papers? The truth is you need both. However, most of your paperwork could be easily downsized to a manageable amount. By scanning important documents and switching to paperless billing, you’re creating a digital environment much more accessible to move than a ton of paper. Your entire home office can fit into just a few desktop folders if you’re neat enough.
Still, do not toss away taxes, warranties, and financial statements. Figuring out how to downsize when moving is vital, but you might need these papers in years to come, so it’s wiser to keep them somewhere in their original form.
To learn more about going paperless, check out the video below.
#4 Discard of Unwanted Bulky Objects to Pack Efficiently
Why would you waste all that packing material only to pack electronics you do not use or waste your time and energy on large items you don’t want? You know that moving services can only cost you more with them on the list, right? No matter how professional your movers are, their packing services do not include shrinking your furniture so that you can try it out in your new place.
So if you’re still worried about how to downsize a home properly, the answer does not bring anything you find outdated, not fitting, or not matching your new interior vision. Also, if the new space is furnished, it changes things a lot.
Use Your Furniture as a Storage Space
It will be tough to let go of things in some cases, especially when there’s a solid emotional attachment involved. Deciding to bring these highly sentimental items with you is not surprising, but do not let it worry you. When your mind is set on finding practical solutions, you quickly start to figure out all the weird places and ways to move things.
Most creative storage ideas come from necessity. Look at all that multipurpose furniture. It’s like you’re suddenly given a superpower you’ve never had. It’s not made only to be part of a tiny house must-haves; it’s convenient for any space, no matter the size. And when looking for a way to save some money on relocating, this is undoubtedly the way.
Leaving your closets, drawers, or some tables and ottomans half-packed with stuff is a way to utilize storage spaces the best you can. You don’t have to be scared of the pick-up day and not being able to load your belongings into the truck.
And if anything goes wrong, there is always a storage service provided for free as part of the relocation package.
#5 Remember to Set All Non-Allowables Aside
What to keep is equally important as what not to, particularly if you want to prepare for movers adequately. When downsizing your possessions, knowing what the non-allowables are can be quite helpful. However, every professional cross-country moving company will provide you a list of the items you can’t move. Here’s what to have in mind:
- Gasoline and petroleum products,
- Paint, paint-thinners, bleach, and nail polish remover,
- Pesticides and insecticides,
- Perishables (food products and plants,)
- Car batteries,
Learning How to Downsize for a Move Brings Great Advantages to the Entire Process
Congratulations, your downsizing mission is officially completed. Successfully, might we add. Now that you know the entire process, it’s clear what a burden has been lifted off your shoulders. And we’re not saying it just metaphorically. With the size of the move lowered or almost halved, you’ll save yourself a lot of relocation stress, for starters, and then edit down your expenses checklist. Most importantly, you’ll be all ready to head off.