Maybe, the kids have left the home, and your home is too big. Or you’ve decided to move from a suburban house to an inner-city apartment. Whatever the reason, decluttering to move to a smaller home can present a lot of challenges. However, with careful planning, and by following these decluttering tips for downsizing, you will make the whole process a breeze.
The Downsizing Mindset
In your new home, you may find yourself with only half of the space which you used to have.
While it may freak you out the thought of purging your belongings, it’s not as scary as you may think. It’s a chance to get rid of the things which no longer add value to your life while keeping the things you do need.
While it may sound easy, it’s a lot more difficult than you may think.
The key to getting downsizing right is to allow yourself a lot of time to consider what you do need, and what you don’t. If you try to rush the process, you are more likely to throw out things which you still need, and will end up regretting.
If it’s not possible to fit everything you used to own in your new house or apartment. Downsizing is the solution.
Read More: 10 Tips For Preparing Your Items For Storage
Downsize The Large Items To Be Moved
How big is your new home? If you will be moving into a two bedroom apartment from a three bedroom house, then there is no need to move all three beds and bedside tables. Not only is moving expensive, and will cost you more money for additional items, but the extra bed will have nowhere to go. It will either add to the clutter, or you will find yourself needing to place the extra items in storage – an expense that adds up fast.
If someone shifting to a new place with the same number of rooms, but have smaller floorspace, that’s where things can get a bit more difficult.
Have a look at the floor plan of your new home, or use a tape measure to measure every space carefully. Doing so is the best way to help you work out in advance what furniture will fit and where you will place your sofas, tables, and chairs, as well as which items there is just no room for.
It’s recommended to decide in advance, even if it is difficult. Rather than paying extra to move all of your furniture, and then realising once you have arrived, that it won’t fit.
Find a way to move or sell it from your new home, or pay removalist costs again to take it to storage.
Bring The Small Items
While it may seem more natural to either sell or give away smaller items like knick-knacks, clothing, decor, and dishes, it’s advisable to pace yourself, and not go overboard with these items.
By giving away items too fast, you may regret it. There’s no need to give away anything which you use regularly and enjoy. Doing so may lead to you needing to spend more money, as you realise you still need them and end up rebuying them.
Instead, in the weeks leading up to move, sort your items into three different boxes:
- Anything in the keep box should be packed and taken with you to your new home.
Anything in the ‘Sell/Donate’ box should be either sold, given to friends or family, or donated to charity.
Whatever is left in the maybe box, in the day before you leave, go through this box again. Any items which you can now quickly decide whether to move to the keep or sell/donate boxes, do so. For the things you are still unsure of, pack them in the maybe box, and take them with you.
- If you have valuable items and haven’t been able to sell them in time, take them with you to your new home, and sell them once you arrive.
- In another month’s time, go through the maybe box again. Anything you are still unsure of, you should keep, for now.
Items To Keep:
- Seasonal items such as winter jackets or bathing suits
- Sentimental items
- Practical issues (which may not be used often), e.g. tools
Sort Through Everything You Own
You may have some stuff packed away for years which you have entirely forgotten about. Go through every box you have in your home, and check what is inside.
If you don’t know you have the stuff anymore, you won’t miss it when it’s gone!
It’s the perfect chance to get rid of unnecessary items instead of just bringing them and taking up valuable space.
Do you have a box for old technology? Wires, cables, computer parts. Are they now obsolete? Throw them out! For any old hard drives, be sure to wipe first.
Every box counts when space is in short supply. Moving is the best time to sort through everything in your home, and ask yourself if the things you have been hoarding for years because you might need them “one day” is worth bringing to your new home.
In The Last Few Months Have You tried it?
If you haven’t used an item for over a year, and it’s not seasonal, then it’s probably a right time to get rid of it.
Do you have some clothes you haven’t worn perhaps while waiting to lose weight, materials from a hobby you never really got around to starting, or your kids’ old clothing and footwear?
If it is valuable, instead of just throwing it out, sell your items online, or hold a garage sale. Otherwise, donate them to charity and the less fortunate, or ask your friends and family if they want them.
Create Digital Copies Of Your Media
Do you have hundreds and thousands of DVDs, CDS, videotapes, photos, folders with important documents? They all require a considerable amount of space.
There’s now a more convenient option. Make a digital copy of all your files and documents, and back them up to the cloud (either Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud offer very affordable options, as well as free plans).
It’s crucial to keep original files of important documents such as a birth certificate or tax file number document, but every other financial and personal material can be scanned and the original version shredded.
Scanning has never been easier with smartphone scanner apps!
Decluttering For Downsizing Like A Pro
By having a smaller home with limited storage, it forces you to be more selective about which items you bring into your home. Anything which feels out of place will now stand out and feel like clutter. By paring down your articles only to the essential, sentimental, and belongings which bring you joy and happiness, it makes it easier to keep your new home organised and clean.
You will also save money by being able to hire a smaller removalist truck, and not need to spend any money on storage.
Are you looking for an expert and reliable removalist? Optimove are here to help.
All of our removalists are thoroughly trained, are trustworthy, and treat your items with respect as if they were our own. If you need some assistance with downsizing and decluttering, we offer a packing service to suit your needs.