How to Downsize Before You Move

If you are moving to a smaller home, then decluttering and organizing your belongings is a must. Check out this guide on how to downsize before you move.

It’s easy to accumulate a lot of things over the years. You often don’t realize exactly how much you have until you decide to move house.

Downsizing is an important task if you’re moving somewhere smaller. It’s also useful to declutter before you move to avoid carrying boxes of stuff you don’t need anymore. This lets you avoid unpacking unwanted stuff when you move in.

Trying to fit the contents of a house into an apartment is like playing Tetris. If you’re downsizing due to retirement, that’s going to take a lot of energy.

Wondering how to downsize before you move? Read on to learn more.

Work Room by Room

Of all the downsizing tips, one of them will prove your biggest helper. That’s to decide what to sell, keep, trash, and give away.

While you’re using the sell/keep/donate model, really think about each item. When was the last time you used it? Do you even like it?

Work your way around each room of your house. Look at everything you have and decide which category it belongs to.

You can either do this all at once or work in 15-30 minute chunks. The first option gets the job finished faster but the second is less overwhelming.

This method works well when paired with cleaning your house. Cleaning as you go saves time later.

Divide Items by Type

You might also find it more helpful to sort groups of items, rather than clearing on a room-by-room basis.

The principle is similar. Pull out all your clothes from drawers and closets. Put them in one place and start sorting. When you see how much you have at once, you’ll be more ruthless about downsizing. 

Repeat with kitchen items, books, or children’s toys. Keep going on whatever you want to sort before packing.

This approach can be more helpful since you can see how much you have accumulated of the same ‘type’.

Declutter Before You Move

Give away things from the Donate pile as soon as you can. Donate it to a nonprofit if you can, or give it to friends and family who can use it. This will quickly cut down the number of things you need to pack. Otherwise, if you’re planning to discard your items efficiently, you can rent a dumpster from a supplier like

If you’re selling items, list them on eBay or Craigslist as you finish each room. This makes it more manageable to handle when selling a lot in bulk.

A garage sale can be a swift way to sell a lot of things at once. Plan when you’ll do it and advertise it in advance.

Use a junk removal company to get rid of the things you want to trash.

Leave Plenty of Time to Prepare

Decluttering and downsizing is an important task before you move. It saves you from packing and unpacking items you don’t actually need or want. The process also helps you to find places to store things in your new home. 

I recommend giving yourself more time than you think you’ll need to work through the downsizing process. This means you can be more intentional about what you keep, sell, and donate.

If you want more tips about moving and decluttering, why not browse our other real estate articles?

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