Moving date is looming, so you feel the pressure to get organized, purge, and pack. Whether you are an empty nester downsizing your living arrangements, a recent life change is causing you to downsize, or you just simply want to take fewer items with you to your new residence – downsizing can feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders.
But, it doesn’t have to be. Not everything about downsizing includes choosing items that ‘spark joy.’ Below, we explain how to downsize for a move.
The Four Steps to Downsizing
Your first step on downsizing is determining what you are bringing with you on your move. Sure, you can go the “KonMarie” approach and go item by item – “does this spark joy?” While this might be trendy way to minimize – it isn’t very practical for many people downsizing. This is our practical guide on how to downsize for a move, where we’ll help you decide which items to take with you and which items to leave behind. Let’s start with creating a list of the belongings you are going to keep.
Start large – with your furniture. Identify the rooms that you have in your new home and either take measurements, if you can, or get the measurements from the previous owner or landlord. This will help you ensure you don’t bring furniture that won’t fit, especially in a smaller home. Only bring what will comfortably fit. If you hire a professional moving company, you shouldn’t be concerned with whether an expensive piece of furniture or art will make it in one piece. Moving companies, such as MiniMoves, have the right packing materials, experienced movers, and furniture shipping services to help you move anything from a large piece of art to an indoor plant that you might think you can’t move successfully.
Once you’ve decided which furniture you are keeping, you’ll move from room to room on smaller items. Ask yourself some simple questions:
- Have I used this item in the past year?
- Is it convenient or does it make my life easier?
- Is it in good condition and function properly?
- Will it fit in my new home?
- Can I use it once I’m in my new home?
These questions should help you determine what is moving with you. Items you don’t plan to keep will be placed in three other piles that we will discuss. When it comes to mementos, keep one pile or box for those. We’ll cover that last.
Distribute the items you are going to move into boxes, by room, and clearly mark each box or container with the room name. This will make moving your items, and finding them at your destination, more seamless.
Donate, Sell, Discard
Now that you have a list of the items that you are going to keep, how do you get rid of everything else? While you are determining which items you will be moving, you’ll want to create three separate piles for the items that won’t be moving with you.
The first pile will be items you wish to donate. This might include items with little value to you, but may still hold value to someone else. Maybe it’s clothing items that you no longer wear, kitchen appliances that you no longer need, or household items that you have multiples of – such as an overabundance of bath towels. You can choose from several donation options such as the GoodWill, Veterans Affairs, or another national chain. Or, you can consider local donation options.
The second pile will be items you wish to sell. These items might include items you no longer use or want, but have significant value to someone else. Keep in mind the time you will spend to try to ‘market’ the item you plan to sell. There are many websites, social media platforms, and local consignment shops that you can choose to sell your items. Is the time spent selling the item worth the value you will receive? If not, move this item to the donate pile.
The third pile of items you won’t be moving is the discard pile. Items that are considered trash, or do not hold any value, would go in the discard pile. This would include old papers, broken items, or clothing or books in poor condition. Check your town’s ordinances for discarding large items like broken furniture; they often have a special day of the month that they pick-up bulk or large trash items.
Why Are You Downsizing?
While many people choose to downsize for various reasons, some people just want to move less stuff. When moving to a smaller house, apartment or condo, you’ll want to research your moving options. While large freight movers might have minimum weight requirements and costs, there are also small-move options such as MiniMoves. A small-move company will never charge you for items you aren’t moving. To get a free quote for your upcoming downsize move, contact MiniMoves today.