How to Downsize and Declutter Your Home Before You Move

Posted by Danielle McKelley on May 26, 2021

decluttering your closetNow that the kids have grown and flown the coop, you’ve decided your big house just doesn’t make sense anymore. Or maybe, life is steering you in a different direction as you follow your dreams to live simply in a house with less square footage.

Whatever life change has prompted you to downsize, it also requires some serious next steps like evaluating your belongings, decluttering, packing, and finally moving. Any one of those tasks can be daunting, but when the process calls for “all of the above,” most people would rather drink household bleach.

You’ve made the first big decision: to downsize. Now, let us help you find the strength and skill to muster through the “all of the above:”

Evaluate your belongings.

You’ll need to assess your belongings in each room, making notes on what will fit in your new space, what you’ll absolutely need, and whether it’s an item you simply can’t live without.

Your current inventory of furniture may not quite work in your new place. Be sure to know your measurements and whether your existing pieces will fit.

Find a method to the madness.

You’ll need a plan as you take inventory and sort through your things. A good sorting system considers those items you’ll want to keep, donate, trash, or store. The best way to tackle the decluttering project is to work from room to room.

A good rule of thumb to follow when deciding what to purge is whether you’ve used the item in the last year or didn’t even remember you had it. If you’ve lived without it for that long, you certainly won’t miss it if it lands in the donate or trash bin.

Sort, sift and assign.

If you tackle each room and its “stuff” armed with your four-pronged method, you’ll be able to sort, sift, and assign more easily and quickly. If an item is relevant to your new space, deposit it in the keep box. Items that still have life in them or is a duplicate and may be useful to someone else can be donated to either friends and family or to a local charity. Broken things should be trashed. And seasonal items or things you simply can’t part with because of their sentimental value can be put into storage.

Stay organized by labeling each box when filled and sealing it for its next move in the process. Repeat this process in each room.

Consider selling some of your stuff.

If you have time and don’t mind the extra work, you could consider hosting a yard sale or posting items for sale on social media. There are numerous platforms for selling things, and you could make a few extra bucks to buy furnishings for your new place. 

Go digital.

Filing cabinets filled with paper documents can take up much-needed space in your new home. Consider digitizing your paper documents. Store tax files in a plastic bin and scan other records and receipts in digital form to save on space.

Even old photos and home movies can be digitized. Not only does it free up space but it keeps these precious items more secure in digital form.

Pace yourself.

Don’t wait until the last minute to declutter. Devise a plan early in the process and chip away at it as you move closer to the big move. If you wait until the last minute, you may part with things you’ll regret later or end up with way too much at your new home with no room to store it.

Plot your course and don’t hesitate to ask family and friends to help. If you’re able, hire a crew to help with clearing and moving to eliminate the added stress.

Maximizing storage in your new place.

In your new home, you’ll need to look for creative ways to maximize storage since you’ll be moving into a space with less square footage than your previous residence. To keep your new home clutter-free, consider these ideas for adding storage space:

  • Invest in multifunctional furniture such as armoires, bookshelves, baskets, ottomans with storage compartments, and platform beds with drawers. 
  • Utilize wall space for floating shelves, where you can display pieces or keep items up and off tables and the floor.
  • Make use of the crawlspace, attic, closets, and space under the stairs for storing seasonal items.

Downsizing can be an exciting adventure. Don’t let the idea of decluttering, packing, and moving rattle you. Instead, consider the process a journey toward a fulfilling and promising destination. Discover your new home at Vista Developers, where you’ll find the perfect place for all your stuff!

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