If you have plans to downsize–or as we like to call it, “right size”–in the near future, you may be overwhelmed with what’s ahead. Years of accumulated “things,” an attic full of forgotten items, and closets crammed with clothes that you haven’t worn in years.

These aren’t items that you want to take with you when you move. So how do you decide what will move with you–and what will be donated or tossed? Here are some tips on how to downsize the contents of your home before you downsize to a smaller house.

 

 

First, figure out what you must keep. That means going room to room and making a list of what you definitely want to bring with you when you downsize. This could include furniture or artwork or even a special knick-knack from a trip long ago. 

Once you have that list, it’s time to look at what’s left. Time to start another list that organizes what can be sold, donated, or thrown away. If you have family members who may be interested in some of these items, now’s the time to have them come over and place sticky notes on the items they’re interested in taking.

Do your research and find out where you can donate and sell the unclaimed items. You’ll want to have this completed well before it’s time to pack up and begin your move.

Image: Elder Ado Financial

So now you’ve got a plan for what goes where, and you’ve found places to take what you don’t want. Make plans now to get those materials out of your home. And the family members who really want the giant armoire? They need to make a plan to pick it up ASAP. Create a deadline and stick to it!

For the larger items in your home that you’re planning to sell, consider hiring an appraiser who can let you know what fair market price will be and, in some cases, handle the sale for you. Added bonus: they may also take care of moving the items out, saving you from having to to it yourself. Again, time is of the essence so set a deadline for everything to be sold and hauled out well before it’s time for your moving day.

Image: Next Avenue/Adobe Stock

With the discards under control and either donated, sold, or tossed, you’ll have a much cleaner environment to begin your packing plans. Having been through all of your rooms looking at items, you’ve likely found some duplicates and items that, after careful consideration, you realize you won’t be using in the future. There’s no shame in doing a second purge at this point!

Then start packing. Stay organized with bins and carefully labeled boxes. Once everything is packed away, you’ll be ready to unpack in your new, smaller home. You’ll feel less weighed down by “things” and be able to start a new chapter with less holding you back. Plus you’ll know that your donated items are helping others–and the items you gave to family are bringing smiles to those you love. It’s a win-win situation!

Thinking of downsizing? Looking for a smaller home? Let us know your plans and we’ll let you know how we can help!

Image: Schwab Workplace