Downsizing into a Smaller Space

when downsizing, start early and get rid of things which won't fit in the new place.

when downsizing, start early and get rid of things which won't fit in the new place.

Downsizing is one of the more difficult types of moves to make. Whether you’re moving out of the family home into something easy to care for, or embracing the minimalist lifestyle, getting rid of mementos, family heirlooms and knickknacks before the moving company arrives can be quite a chore. 

But regardless of the reason, a good rule of thumb for downsizing is to start early. The good thing about downsizing is that it can be a huge opportunity for shaking off many things which were formerly kept out of convenience.

Here are some tips to help:

A staging area

It may seem counterproductive because the garage may or may not be moving with you, but if you start by cleaning out the garage, you can create a staging area to process your other possessions. The staging area is where you can decide to keep, sell, donate, or throw things away without creating an enormous mess in your home.  If you don’t have a garage, a spare bedroom or even a card table can be used for this purpose. The table should have easy access to packing materials, a good supply of boxes, a bag for donations and place for ‘sale’ items.

Where will unwanted items go?

This may seem like a Dr. Seuss type of question, with some nonsensical land far away as the recipient of much-used and tightly-held worldly goods. This is also where the time factor comes in handy since you’ll have time to shuffle off many things before you move.

Selling websites such as local marketplaces and Craiglist will reap some heavy buyers. There is a balance between wanting to get as much as you can for things and wanting to have them gone. Somewhere in there, you need to decide if you want someone to have them without a form of payment. Your decisions will be based on the amount of time you have and the eagerness of your market.  Funds derived from the sale of unwanted items can help pay for packing materials and the move.

Create a new furniture layout

Before trying to cram most of the old furniture from your house into the apartment, sit down as far in advance as possible with a drawing which has the measurements of the apartment and figure out what will fit. Try not to bring anything which is broken, worn out, or which you just don’t love anymore. You may need to purchase new pieces after the move which fit better in the new place, but in the end, you’ll be much more comfortable than trying to ‘force a fit.’

Downsizing can be confusing and stressful, but in the end, many people feel a sense of freedom when they don’t have so much to worry about, care for or clean. 

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