If you’re planning a move in the near future, chances are you’re also planning to downsize, even if you don’t know it yet. Most people, when it comes time to start packing for a move, realize that they have a lot more stuff than they thought they did. In addition to this, they realize they have a lot of stuff they don’t use, need, or want anymore.
That’s why, instead of panicking when packing day arrives, we recommend sorting through your belongings in the months and weeks before your move and downsizing to make the process more manageable. One of the best ways you can do this is by donating those items to a charity organization.
The Downsizing Process: How-To Hacks
Here are a few tips for deciding which items to get rid of and which ones you need to keep:
Decide What You Would Replace if You Lost it
When you’re at the very beginning of the downsizing process, start making a list of things you would immediately replace if you lost them. Even if these things are technically irreplaceable, like family heirlooms, if would immediately want them back if they became lost, put them on the list. This is a good exercise to start thinking about which items really mean a lot to you and which ones you could actually live without.
Go Through Each Room Individually
Just thinking about what you have in all the rooms of your house isn’t always enough. Go through each room, including bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and garages and take note of everything you have in there. In particular, take note of all the items you forgot you even had and/or know you don’t want to take with you when you move.
Use Floor Plans of Your New Home
One thing people often forget about when downsizing before a move is, surprisingly, their new home. When you’re deciding which furniture to keep and which to donate, get a floorplan of your new home (or draw one out) so you can visualize where furniture will go then decide which pieces don’t fit in.
Get an Objective Opinion
You’re attached to your stuff. So much so that it can be hard to make the decision to throw something away even if you literally never take it out of the closet. So getting a friend or family member to say “You’re never going to use that – donate pile!” is always helpful.
Consider if Others Need it More
Saving that old crib in your storage room just in case your kids ever have kids and you need to babysit them overnight? Rather than moving such a large item all the way to your new home when it could be years and years before you might need it, consider whether someone in need could use it more.
There a plenty of charities that help single parents and others in need of furniture and other items that could use those things you’re hanging on to “just in case.”
At Two Small Men, we’ve developed a relationship with the Cerebral Palsy Associations of Alberta and BC to help our customers downsize before moving and give back to deserving charity at the same time.
Share your Downsizing/Decluttering tips and tricks in the comments below! If you're planning a move, make sure to get your free moving estimate from Two Small Men today.