How To Prepare To Downsize Your Home

Many people consider decluttering when they want to create more room in their house or make their move to a new residence easier. Decluttering can be overwhelming if you don’t have an action plan.

You need to make considerations before downsizing to make the process easier and relieving. Here are some steps you should take to prepare to downsize your home.

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1. Take Photos Of Your Home

Whether you are going to donate, sell, or dispose of unnecessary items, the fact is you’ll never see these things again. Therefore, you may want to take photos to remind you of your old place.

Photos will also give you a glimpse of what is taking up space. You will be in a better position to choose what to get rid of after visualizing your space through photos. Keep the things that are most attractive in the picture and dispose of those that merely have an appeal.

2. Measure Your New Space

Before downsizing, you should know the size of the space you aim to fit into. Make sure you know the square footage and shape of all the rooms in the house. Your professional movers can help you with these estimates. This information will help you determine which large furniture pieces to get rid of before moving.

Remember, your current furniture might not blend with your new home. Instead of squeezing large furniture into a smaller space, simplify your new space and take what fits. If you don’t have the measurements of your new place or haven’t picked a new home yet, declutter items you won’t need. 

3. Think About Your New Lifestyle

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When downsizing, it is essential to consider what you expect to gain. Don’t only focus merely on what will physically fit in the house but also on the purpose of your new space. The main reason people downsize is to reset and revamp.

For example, if you are separated from your wife, who has sole custody of the children, you will not need to move to a large family house. Therefore, your reason for downsizing is to make enough room for a small condo. 

Understanding the main reason and goals for downsizing will help you stick to your plan. Think beyond saving money and space and ask yourself deeper questions. Some questions that will help you make the right decisions include: 

  • What are the opportunities you will gain by downsizing?
  • What new activities would you like to explore? 
  • What are your top reasons for downsizing?

4. Choose A Decluttering Method

To simplify your downsizing, choose an approach that works for you. The ultimate goal of selecting a method of decluttering is to end up with items you need to keep. Some popular techniques for downsizing include:

  • One-a-Day Method: With this approach, you can let go of one item daily or dispose of items corresponding to a particular date. For example, give away 12 items on the 12th of a specific month.
  • KonMari Method: This approach involves decluttering by category. For example, clothes, books, and then sentimental items.
  • Four-Box Method: Limit your options of how to deal with items. For example, you can restrict yourself to four options: keep, recycle, donate, and sell. Avoid putting things in storage as this will lead to additional costs.
  • Closet-Hanger Method: The faces of all closet hanger hooks should be outward. Turn the hanger hook toward you whenever you are wearing something. After six months, donate or sell clothes that are facing away from you.

5. Set Ground Rules For Downsizing

When you start downsizing, you will find yourself making exceptions. In the end, you’ll find that you have only eliminated a few items. The best way to determine what goes and remains is to establish ground rules for sorting your items.

Some options you need to consider include:

  • Recycle
  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Keep
  • Memorialize through a photo

These categories will vary based on your goals and needs but avoid neutral categories. For example, it is wrong to categorize items as between “keep” or “recycle.” Neutral categories can quickly stack up, and you will find yourself with a significant amount of remaining clutter.

6. Start With Clothing

A significant amount of clutter in your house consists of excessive, old, or outdated clothing. The average person hardly wears 80% of their entire wardrobe. Therefore, you should get rid of unworn or unnecessary clothes.

As a rule of thumb, get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in the last six months. However, hang on to your job interview suit, funeral wear, and swimsuit. Begin by eliminating what no longer fits you.

Also Read: 6 IKEA Alex Drawer Alternative: The Perfect Solution for Small Spaces

Final Thoughts

One of the most challenging activities when moving to a new home or selling your home involves downsizing. In many cases, homeowners downsize because they are relocating to a smaller residence.

Start downsizing one room at a time. It is advisable to begin with clothes and books, then sentimental and non-sentimental items. For best results, make sure you start decluttering a few months before you plan to move.

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