Preparing to Downsize
5 Tips for a Smooth Transition
After spending years in your home, the mere thought of a move to a smaller place can be intimidating. The term “downsizing” is often tossed around casually, either with a sentiment of relief in not having to take care of so much house and yard, or with a more melancholy connotation, referring to a gloomy process of parting with precious mementos and spaces that have held years of happy memories.
Regardless of the reason provoking a mission to downsize, the end result certainly has its perks. Picture yourself juggling fewer physical possessions and becoming free of a large property to maintain – both realities that would allow you to focus more on yourself, your family, your relationships, and valuable life experiences.
If you’re one of many people each day who begin to venture down the path of downsizing, here are some tips that we think you’ll find useful along the way. After helping hundreds of people settle into their new home here at Three Pillars, we’ve been lucky enough to glean some wise nuggets of wisdom from their experiences, and they’d be pleased to know they may help someone else in the same boat.
- Take care of #1
Preparing for a move is strenuous. It’s physically demanding; furthermore, it can bring mental and emotional strain. Before sorting, organizing, or packing, be sure to get plenty of rest, hydrate your body, and remember to do a little at a time. Celebrate small victories throughout the process, such as packing up a closet, and allow yourself time to reflect on memories that objects may generate. Be gentle with yourself, and be sure to give your brain and body a break after your day’s work is done.
- Evaluate the essentials
Set aside some time to give thoughtful consideration to items in your home, one room or area at a time. Think small. All that’s necessary is one area at a time; one week, tackle the craft room closet, the next, go through the spare bedroom, and so on. Spend some time sitting with items, evaluating the concept of “need versus want.” Recollect what they mean to you and if you could be happy without them. Perhaps a child or family member would like to adopt an item or two from you, or you could take a photo that will last a lifetime, while passing the item along to a resale shop or the recycling bin. And don’t forget, it’s ok to hold onto some treasures – downsizing doesn’t mean everything must go.
- Survey your storage
Consider your current storage spaces, what’s being stored, and how this compares to space you’ll have available in your new, smaller space. Be realistic about keeping some items in storage, like seasonal or larger items, and then consider what’s really necessary to hang onto. If you haven’t used it in a year, do you really need it?
- Make some money
For those possessions that you determine you can live without, take the opportunity to make a few dollars on them. Have a rummage sale (or partner up with a friend or relative who’s holding one), try a consignment store, sell some things on Facebook through a buy-sell-trade group or the Marketplace, or illicit the help of a full-service moving company like Smart Moves, LLC, who will not only help you pack and move, but will also help get your unwanted items to resale stores (or coordinate donating them to charities). Stash the cash away and treat yourself to something fun during your newfound time when you’re no longer committed to cleaning your big house or mowing the lawn!
- Get organized
For the items you’ll be keeping, begin packing up early. Storage closet items, for example, can be boxed and kept in their closet until it’s time to move. Devise a plan for a solid labeling system, and stay organized even within packed boxes by folding, rolling, adding dividers, or whatever else works for you. We like Listotic’s list of smart packing tips for some creative tips. When it comes time to un-pack in your new place, it’ll be a breeze.
Have you or a loved one experienced the transition of downsizing? How did it go for you? What tips would you share that eased your move? Leave us a reply below!