Lighten the Load: 6 Tips for Downsizing Your Home When You Move

If you're downsizing your home that last thing you want to do is move things you never even use. Learn some practical tips for downsizing before a move.

Over 14% of Americans say they don't use a room in their house because it's filled with barely-used items. And 48% of them attribute some of their home's clutter with never-used things.

Does this sound like you? Then this junk can be putting a wrench in your plans to move.

But not all hope's lost.

Here are six tips for downsizing your home so you'll have an easier time when you actually move.

  1. Sort Out Your "Wants" From "Needs"

Everyone's only human; we buy things that we don't necessarily need, but want at the moment. It's not always a bad thing, as we often end up with once-in-a-lifetime items that we treasure forever.

However, moderation is key. If you're one of those Americans whose spare bedroom is filled to the brim with useless junk, then you might have a problem.

Take some time to sort out your "wants" from "needs." Once you see how big each pile is, then you can determine how many items from the "wants" collection you want to keep.

Of course, we're not saying you should throw out all sentimental souvenirs from your honeymoon or the champagne cork from the bottle you popped when you bought your first house.

But the piles of freebies you've accumulated from various trade shows and events? You might want to consider throwing most (if not all) of that out.

  1. Digitize Everything You Can

Back in the day, you'd do everything by paper. This includes bills, important documents, and even books and photos.

As you can imagine, all of the above can quickly add up to thick and heavy piles. It'll be quite a burden to transport from one place to another.

Thankfully, modern technology's made it possible for us to digitize pretty much everything. Snap pictures on your smartphone and transfer these files to your computer. You can then shred things like past bills and tax returns.

We understand that some books have sentimental value, so you don't have to get rid of all of them. But consider getting the majority of them as ebooks and only keeping a few to display in your new home.

The same goes for your photos. Keep some treasured physical albums, but turn the rest of your pictures into the digital form. This keeps them safer as well since they won't be susceptible to things like floods and fires.

  1. Consider Your Current Furniture

If you're using moving services, then you might be tempted to cram the truck with everything you can. It may seem like a wise move to pack the truck full, but make sure everything actually fits in your new home first!

There's nothing worse than moving all your furniture, then finding out your sofa won't fit in your new living room. Not only have you wasted effort bringing it over, but now, you have to figure out a way to get rid of it (sell, donate, or junk).

Make sure you take measurements of each room in your new house. Then, compare the measurements of your furniture with those.

If it seems like some furniture will be a snug fit, or won't fit at all, this is an excellent time to sell, donate, or junk these pieces. By just getting rid of 1 or 2 pieces of furniture, this will help with downsizing your stuff immensely.

  1. Don't Think Too Far Into the Future

While sorting through all your belongings, you might come across things that you think future generations would love. For example, you might want to pass on an heirloom china set to your future grandchildren.

But the reality is, things like these will most likely get lost in the shuffle of moves, especially if you plan on relocating again. And it's not guaranteed your grandchildren will even like or want these items.

If you really want, pick just 1 or 2 things you want to keep for them. As for the rest, if they're worth any money, try selling them. Then, put the money aside to give to your grandchildren when they're adults so they can buy the things they truly want.

  1. Shrink Your Collections

Downsizing and decluttering doesn't necessarily mean you have to get rid of everything you love. It just means you have to be selective!

For instance, let's say you have a collection of beer glasses with funny sayings on them. Over the years, that collection's grown to a whopping 20 glasses.

If you want to downsize effectively, pick a few that are your favorite and then say goodbye to the rest. Think about it: how often do you really use those other 15 glasses, aside from your favorite 5?

Once you let these unused things go, you'd be surprised at how liberating it feels.

  1. Stop Buying More Things

This may seem painfully obvious, but many people don't realize that in order to downsize, you have to stop buying new things!

While you may think an item is perfect for the new house, don't buy it just yet. Wait until you've downsized, moved, and unpacked first.

Once you've reassessed the situation, you can then determine whether or not that thing was actually needed.

Use These Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Before you relocate, downsizing your home may be a fantastic idea. Not only will this help you sort out what you actually need and what you can toss, but it'll also help clear your mind.

Not to mention, it'll pay off in the end as well. You won't have to rent as big a moving truck, you won't have to make as many trips, and unpacking will be quicker as well.

So take the time to use our tips on downsizing to a smaller home, and you'll reap the benefits in the end.

If you liked this article on how to downsize your home for a move, make sure you check out our other blog posts too!

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