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Living in a large house is great, but you have to account for the costs of maintaining a larger space. That not only means more expensive utility costs but also maintenance expenses. Sometimes the increased burdens that come with living in a larger house become so heavy that moving to a smaller space can help alleviate financial and mental stressors.
Of course, some may consider the idea of downsizing and decluttering an overwhelming task. So, we’ve compiled some tips to help make the process a bit more manageable.
As with any project, you first need to plan. When it comes to downsizing and decluttering your space, we suggest doing the following:
Establish a Timeline: First things first, determine your move out date. Once this is established, you can work backward to determine by which date you will need to begin packing and identifying what you will do with the possessions that won’t be going to the new house.
Goal: Once you establish your moving date, commit to getting rid of a set number of things each day. The items can be small or big, but identifying a set number of personal belongings to discard each day will help you gradually declutter as you prepare to relocate to a smaller space.
Process: Sort and organize belongings in categories like “sell,” “keep,” and “donate.” If you are thinking of placing items in off site storage, create a pile for “storage,” too.
Downsizing requires that you get rid of things, especially things you no longer use but kept for no reason.
Sell: Consider selling what you no longer plan to use. The general rule is to sell anything worth $100 or more. Tell friends and family of your plans to sell certain items, and how much you plan to sell them for. It is pretty likely that they will want to buy some items. You can also list items for sale online. There are plenty of websites that list old furniture and clothes. All in all, selling items is a great way to generate extra funds, some of which could contribute to your moving costs.
Donate: Instead of throwing things away, let someone else benefit from them. If you find that some items that you’d hoped would sell but didn’t, consider donating them to resale stores or charities.
Storage: There will be things you would want to keep, but won’t have space in your new house to do so. That’s where off site storage units come in. For a monthly rate, you can store your belongings in a secure location that, in some cases, is climate controlled.
Technology has made it possible to maximize space because things like hardcopy files that traditionally take up space can now be digitized. This allows you to get rid of piles of paper, decluttering some spaces almost instantly. Convert bills, photos, and other paper documents into digital files and save them on a thumb drive or in the cloud for secure, easy access later.
You’ll want to set aside plenty of time to declutter properly prior to moving. With that being said, and depending on the amount of stuff you need to clear out. Getting started a month or a few weeks before your move is probably not ideal. Plan to begin the decluttering process at least three months before your moving date if not at least a couple of weeks earlier.
Be sure to plan what furniture and other large items will be moving into the new house. If you are downsizing, let’s say from a three bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment. You won’t need to move more than one bedroom set to your new home given the reduced space. The same principle applies if you are moving to a house with less square footage.
You may find that the furniture that once fit comfortably in your previous house makes the new smaller house look and feel cluttered. You’ll need to determine which items will move with you and which will need to be sold, donated, or put in storage in order to maximize your living space.
Friends are not only there to entertain, they can always provide a helpful hand. The day you plan to do big tasks or the day you plan to move out, invite your friends and relatives over to your place to help with decluttering. This may include helping you take items to a storage unit or to donation centers.
It may be necessary to part ways with multiple furniture items and replace them with one piece of furniture that can be used for multiple purposes. An example would be a working table this piece of furniture can be used as a coffee table, dinner table, and desk. Another solution for decluttering is to explore ways to create vertical space in your new place to optimize space.
If you are already downsizing to help alleviate a financial burden, then what’s the point of spending money on other unnecessary things. Instead, try to save as much as you can prior to the move instead of going on a shopping spree for items that may clutter their new home.
Part of downsizing your home is deciding when to downsize. Decluttering is a process that takes time and thought, not something that you can effectively do on a whim. Give yourself plenty of time to declutter as you prepare to move.