Thanks to the rise of Marie Kondo, downsizing is in.
In fact, we’ve become nearly obsessed with decluttering our spaces and living tiny. And why not? Downsizing your home can be a very freeing experience. It cuts down on clutter and on the amount of space to keep clean and tidy, which results in less stress. However, despite the positive benefits of downsizing, the initial process can come with some challenges and headaches.
If you look at everything you have to do all at once, you’re likely to get overwhelmed. That’s normal. The best thing you can do is break down the process and focus on small tasks first. Having a plan is a huge asset, as are keeping things organized and staying positive about how much simpler life will be once you’re in your new place. To help you through the process of downsizing, we’ve put together a few easy tips for making the change to a smaller home.
Your Guide to Downsizing
Tip #1: Have a Plan
Start by putting together a plan early on (at least a few months before you move) and working on one room at a time. Also, get all of the specs for your new place. If you can, get a floor plan of your new home with the square footage and measurements of each room, then figure out how your furniture could fit into each space. This will save you a lot of headaches when you move in because you’ll know exactly what can and can’t fit in your new home. Before you start loading the moving trucks, you can get rid of what won’t work and plan to buy new items that will.
Another smart thing to do is to visualize yourself and your belongings in your new home. Try to find comparable rooms in your house to the new home; for example, the new living room might be the same size as your old master bedroom. Instead of just seeing it on paper, you’ll be able to visualize even more clearly what will and will not fit.
On average, people keep 1/3 to 1/2 of their current belongings when they downsize. How much you keep will depend on the difference in space between your old home and your new one.
Tip #2: Organize into 3 Piles
When you start decluttering, organize everything into three piles:
This will make the first stage of decluttering much more efficient. If you try to do “maybe” piles, you’re more likely to get sentimental over those items and then end up keeping them.
Most things are recyclable, so avoid throwing things away in the trash unless they are beyond repair or usefulness. Almost everything can be donated or sold. There are clothing stores that will recycle textiles and plenty of charities that are looking for items all the time. Some organizations will even pick up the stuff right from your house.
Tip #3: Digitize Paperwork & Photos
Today, there are so many efficient ways to electronically store documents and photographs to clear up space in your home. You can do it yourself at home with a scanner or digital organizer, such as the Neat Organizer, or find a company that will do it all for you. It’s worth the time or small fee to clear out the clutter.
Tip #4: Keep Only the Essentials
When it comes to non-sentimental items, be very diligent in your editing. Do you really need all those glasses, dishware, and extra cutlery? Do you need five of the same size pan? What about all your craft supplies? If you haven’t knit in the past few years, do you think you’re likely to pick it back up?
Be as realistic and honest with yourself as possible. It’s natural for us to hold onto things we don’t need. Instead of thinking about what you’re “losing,” think about what you’re gaining by having less stress and less clutter in your home.
Tip #5: Get an Objective Opinion
If you have some things you just aren’t sure about, such as clothes you’re not sure are in style or décor that you aren’t sure you want anymore, then get a second opinion from someone who can look at it with an objective eye. Sometimes, it takes hearing it from someone else to validate what we already know but don’t want to admit.
Moving Companies Can Help
If you’re ready to declutter and downsize your home, a white glove moving company can help you. Here at Megan’s Moving, we offer full-service moves. That means we can help you clean and declutter your home, pack up your belongings carefully and safely, transport them to your new home, and then unpack and help you get settled in. Contact us today for a free quote!