Downsizing Your Possessions Before Moving

No matter how exciting it is to begin a new chapter in your life, moving on always feels a little bittersweet. Downsizing your possessions before moving is particularly bittersweet, as no one likes to part with happy memories. Fortunately, with a little foresight and planning, downsizing doesn’t have to be overly difficult. Make sure you follow the proper steps.

Tips for Downsizing Your Possessions

To downsize your belongings easily and efficiently, try applying the following five tips.

Begin early. 

If you know a life change is on the horizon, don’t wait to begin getting ready. Not only does downsizing early give you time to plan and eliminate clutter, but it also gives you time to reminisce. What often happens during downsizing is that sentimental item is located and then immediately thrown away due to a time crunch. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get an early start so that even if you don’t keep personal items, you can find a new home for them (such as with another family member).

Make a list of necessary furnishings for your new space.

Instead of tossing and keeping things randomly, approach your task with a list. Write down exactly what rooms will be in your new home and what furniture items you need to keep for those rooms. This helps you identify exactly what to eliminate. Do you have three couches but only have room for one in your new home? Perfect; you can get rid of the other two sooner rather than later.

Categorize and then “budget” those categories.

“Budgeting” your categories is a great way of keeping clutter to a minimum. Basically, divide up your belongings into categories such as cosmetics, cookware, shoes, knick-knacks, etc. Then, “budget” your categories to determine how much of each thing you can keep. For example, if you budget ten items in your knick-knack category, you have to donate or sell all but ten of your extra decorations. This helps you see what is most important to you and makes it easier to part with extras.

Divide items into keep, sell, and donate piles.

Once you have determined what you need and what you want, divide everything into keep, sell, or donate piles. “Maybe” piles are extremely dangerous when downsizing, so try to avoid those if possible. Nicer items can be sold online for a little extra pocket money, or donate to a thrift store or someone in need.

Use the “snowball effect” to eliminate items.

Finally, if you find it difficult to eliminate a lot of clutter at once, try the snowball method. This works especially well if you begin downsizing early. On the 1st day of the month, eliminate one item. On the 2nd day of the month, eliminate two items. On the 3rd day, eliminate three items, and so on. You might be surprised to find how quickly (and easily) you can downsize.

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