The more stuff you have, the more stress and cost are generally involved in a move. Whether you’re moving to a nearby neighborhood or across the city, you’ll have to pack up all of your stuff, figure out the logistics with reliable local movers, and unpack everything when you get to your new home. Although it sounds like a straightforward process, moving can be utterly exhausting, if not at least a little bit stressful.
That said, downsizing your belongings is one of the best ways to make moving easier. Aside from that, having less stuff to bring to your new house can reduce the overall moving costs. If you’re not sure how to effectively downsize, here are some of the best tips to help you get started.
1. Start as early as possible
The earlier you start purging your home, the better. In general, it takes about three to four weeks to pack up an entire home while taking care of other responsibilities such as work and child care. However, it will take more than that if you also want to downsize your belongings. That said, starting as early as possible, perhaps even a few months before you start packing, is a great way to make the entire process less difficult.
2. Purge the biggest items first
Once your “purge session” commences, start with the biggest items first since they are usually the most difficult to dispose of. This includes old appliances, furniture, seasonal equipment, and other large items that you no longer want or plan to use in the future. If they are no longer usable, hire someone to pick them up from your property to take to the recycling center or dump (unless you can transport the item yourself). Otherwise, try selling or donating them to the community.
3. Get rid of duplicates
You don’t need two or more of certain items, so it makes no sense to keep holding on to them “just in case”. Get rid of extras of things that you only really need one of, such as appliances, cooking equipment, clothing, cleaning tools, furniture, and more. Similar to the previous tip, either sell, donate, or toss these items to rid your house of them forever.
4. Steel yourself
Getting rid of your belongings can be a difficult process. Many objects have sentimental value to them, which is why it is so hard to toss them even if you don’t use them anymore. For this reason, it’s best to put yourself into the right mindset before you start the downsizing process. Expect it to be difficult, but always remember that what you’re doing is for the betterment of your future home. If you find yourself having difficulty letting go of things, take a breather, but don’t pick up from where you left off as soon as possible.
5. Hire a downsizing company
If you can’t do everything on your own, consider hiring a downsizing company or a moving manager that can help you get rid of stuff more efficiently. Doing this will also make the downsizing process easier for you since strangers don’t know the sentimental value that items may have, and so can objectively get rid of things much faster.
6. Have a ‘not sure yet’ box
You don’t have to toss everything directly to the ‘donate’ and ‘dispose’ boxes. In fact, doing so can do more harm than good since you may feel overly stressed about having to get rid of so much stuff in such a short amount of time. Instead, have a ‘not sure yet’ box whenever you’re purging a room. If you’re not entirely sure that you don’t need a particular item or won’t miss it when it’s gone, put it in the box and revisit it later.
However, don’t let stuff stay too long in the ‘not sure yet’ box, and don’t let it get too full either. After each purging session, take a break then look at the contents of the box to figure out which ones you want to keep and which ones belong in the other boxes.
7. Consider the space in your future home
Of course, you also have to think about the space available in your future home. Will your new living room fit the furniture that you have now? Do you have enough space in the attic to store seasonal items? Is the bedroom closet big enough for all of your clothes?
Once you figure this out, it will be much easier to let go of things that won’t belong in your new home.
It may take a few weeks, and maybe even a few tears, to downsize your home into something more manageable, but it’s always worth the ease and convenience in the end.