Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Downsizing your home is a challenging task - while it may
leave you feeling fulfilled, it is still hard to part with so many items you’d
rather put into storage. There’s several reasons people downsize their homes -
maybe you want to declutter Marie Kondo style, or maybe you’re left with no
choice. How to downsize when moving is a different realm altogether. Not only
do you have the stress of moving, but also of downsizing correctly. After all,
the last thing you want to do is get rid of something only to later realize you
need it or miss too much!
Just like most other tasks, the more organized you are with downsizing, the better you can go about it. Read up on our comprehensive guide on how to downsize when moving.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Nothing beats getting an understanding of your new house to
see what can fit where when downsizing. Having a floor plan of the new house
will not only help you understand what can go and what can stay when
downsizing, but will also help avoid any mishaps like your furniture being too
big to pass through the doorway!
You will have to physically be at the new house to get the
layouts, and it’ll take up some time. Make sure you clear your day and arm
yourself with some good measuring tape, a notepad and a pen. Measure the
doorways and rooms of the new house, and use this framework to create a rough
layout of the house. You can always be as accurate as possible by maintaining
the ratio of measurements.
Next, measure all your furniture and items, and use pieces
of cardboard to create movable pieces for the same. Maintain the same scale you
used for drawing the room layout. If all of this seems too much of a hassle,
use technology! There are online softwares and mobile applications available to
create an accurate 3D model of your house and your items.
Once you have these layouts and templates in place, play
house! Figure out what fits and where it fits best, what is too oversized or
too mismatched, and what can be squeezed in. You may have certain oddities crop
up, like having the king-sized bed fit perfectly but the wardrobes being an
impossible fit. In these situations, remember that you’re better off trying not
to stuff the new house with as many things as possible and let them go.
As tedious as this step seems, it sure is an important one.
Many people get rough layouts of their new homes made even when there’s no
question of downsizing. You save up on loads of time, effort and money, as it
helps you avoid packing and shipping furniture and appliances that you realize
(only too late) won’t fit in the house. It also helps you inventory your items
better so you have a clear idea of just what you will ship, and which items
will go into which room.
Knowing the layout of your new house is important to
understand how much space you have to utilize. While you have now got an idea
of where your furniture can go, it is time to get more detailed in terms of
maximizing the space you can use.
Sometimes, you end up packing a lot of old knick knacks and
other junk when moving homes, simply because you have the space to accommodate
it. But when downsizing, every last item matters, no matter how big, small, old
or new it is. Downsizing is a painful process mainly because it involves having
to get rid of items that may still have some use, worth or value left, and
deciding to retain only those with high use, worth or value.
Sorting out each item individually may seem like a mammoth
task, but you can always take it room by room. When sorting, divide items into
three piles - those that make the cut, those that need to go, and those you
can’t make up your mind about. We recommend beginning with rooms that generally
have the mist clutter and are often used as dump-the-junk rooms: the garage,
basement and attic (if you have one) are good rooms. The good news is you are
guaranteed to find loads of things accumulated over the years that you can
immediately get rid of without hesitation.
Move on to more important rooms - don’t even skip out on the
kitchen as you can get rid of applications and old, unused dishes. Check every
shelf and closet space as well, and clear out a big dining table to lay
everything out on when emptying cabinets and drawers.
When considering what to keep and what to chuck, try to be
as practical as possible. Old items will indisputably need to be left out. If
the item or appliance has been well used and is running its course, don’t hold
onto it. You’ll have to replace it in the near future anyway, so save yourself
the time and money it’ll take to pack and ship it.
Items with a lot of sentimental value can stay, but things
like takeaways from every wedding you’ve attended need to go. Items that are
old but still in their boxes and never used can go as well - these can easily
be donated to someone who is in need of them. If you’re looking for some money
on the side, these items can be sold off as well.
When it comes to the ‘in-betweens’, follow the ‘One Year’
rule that has stood the test of time. Apply this rule to everything - clothes,
appliances, household items, souvenirs… if it hasn’t been used in the past one
year, it needs to go. You won’t feel it’s absence, and it would’ve been used
had the need arisen. Only spare items that are expensive, have very specific
uses that don’t come around often, or are difficult to come around.
Like advertising, technology is omnipresent and it impacts
almost every aspect of our lifestyles. Still having trouble downsizing during a
move? Turn that handy smartphone into your moving assistant. From clearing the
clutter, to selling what you no longer need to hiring packers and movers, you
will have access to numerous apps. Your smartphone can undoubtedly be a great
asset. The best part? You can use technology to your benefit when downsizing
during a move:
Apart from using your phone, think bigger and make copies of
CDs and DVDs, to be stored on a hard drive. You can also take photographs of
things like your kids’ art projects and such, that have gathered dust but still
hold a fond memory.
As humans, we tend to have a lot of emotional attachments to
things that have been made for us or gifted to us from people we cherish. We
collect them, like shells on a beach, to store them for keepsake and
sentimental value. Sadly, a lot of these things can’t make the cut when
downsizing. But the good thing is the most important of all of these can
certainly squeeze in! All you have to do is prioritize about which ones are the
most important or hold the most value.
It makes no sense holding onto every single pair of baby
boots that your now-teenage kids wore. Similarly, rugs or jackets knitted by
your grandma or favourite aunt are precious, but they can’t all be taking up
bulky space in the closet. Saving the crystal goblets from your wedding makes
sense, saving all the leftover giveaway gifts does not. Your emotions and
fondness is towards that moment or occasion, and the items just serve as
representatives of that. Hold on to a few of them so you save up on space, but
make sure those few are the ones you cherish the most so the memories remain.
Parting with items you cherished or valued is never an easy task. But a soothing balm to the pain is choosing where they will go next, so you know they will still be valued and appreciated. When it comes to deciding where your items will go, start with family members and close friends. If you know a friend loves to read, make sure they get some of your books. Your teenager’s kiddie toys can be given to their younger cousins if they are still in good condition. Also think of who could use appliances. If you’re not sure who could benefit from what, simply shoot off a message on the family Whatsapp group.
See also: How to Pack Books for Moving
Secondly, things like rugs, sheets and pillows are always useful for people who need them. Look into donating things around the house that are still in good condition and have been never or only slightly used. There are several donation facilities across America that always have people in need of a little help. Several of them even accept all kinds of items, from furniture and household items to clothes and appliances. Knowing that your things are going towards making someone happy and fulfilling a need will make the process so much easier for you.
There’s loads that go into downsizing when moving, and we’ve tried to get into and cover as many aspects as we can. However, there’s a few objective steps to it as well, that encapsulate bits of this blog to help you get through this in as organized a manner as possible. Read on for the steps that answer how to downsize when moving.
Overall, remember that downsizing is a process that will eventually leave you more focused, surrounded by things you really need and value. Letting go of tons of old things helps free you of the emotional ties to physical objects, while retaining the memories you had about them. Plus, as the old saying goes, getting rid of the old makes way for the new! Make sure you choose the right kind of movers for your trip, whether it is interstate or within the city itself. This should be your first step after downsizing, so you can get a head start on planning for your move by beginning with the right decisions.
Also See: Pros and Cons of Downsizing | Best Apps for Selling Stuff
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