Downsize Without Losing Your Mind

buried in boxes

I know that moving into a new home is stressful enough. When you start thinking about how to transport all of your endless stuff, it’s no wonder you might fall into anxiety overload. But there is one tried-and-true way to make your move less miserable: downsizing.

Granted, sorting things to toss or donate can be a headache in itself. But trust me: It is so worth it. After all, there’s a bit of the hoarder in everyone (sometimes more than a bit), and moving is the perfect opportunity to pare down your possessions. Plus, when you’re paying movers by the hour, fewer boxes means a smaller bill.

Consider your new space

Whether you’re downsizing or upgrading your square footage, keep in mind what will and won’t fit in your new pad—and I’m talking style as well as size. Don’t keep all of your ratty den furniture if you’ll have only a formal living room, and consider ditching the china cabinet if you’re losing dining space.

And don’t just plan to put oversized pieces in storage until the day you have a bigger home. Unless they’re heirlooms or antiques, or have sentimental value, you’ll probably never think of them again.

Dig through the closets

No one will be surprised if future scientists discover that every closet hides a secret wormhole to another dimension. Somehow, it absorbs all your secret junk—and still has enough room for more and more stuff to be thrown in it. Step No.1 for a pre-move downsizing: Sort through that terrifying mess.

Use the “two-season rule.” Ditch any clothing item you haven’t worn in two seasons (six months) or more (“with some sentimental exceptions”).

Ditch old kids’ clothes

Go through your children’s closets with the same discerning eye. In fact—because kids grow so fast take an even more critical look.

Make sure to only move clothing that fits. Donate anything that’s gently used, or give the items to friends or relatives who might need them, because babies can be expensive!

If your kid happens to hit a growth spurt right before you move, consider that a blessing and pare down his closet to the barest of essentials. You’ll be buying new clothes, anyway. Save yourself a box.

Sift through old electronics

We all have a few skeletons in the closet. For most of us, those skeletons are broken electronics. Whether they’re old laptops, cracked cellphones, or numerous micro-USB chargers, you need them out of your life. Don’t just toss these guys in the dumpster, though; there are electronics recycling programs you can use instead

There’s one exception: Unique chargers or cables whose pair you can’t identify. Maybe they’re for your kid’s 3DS game console or that old digital camera.

Sort, sort, sort

Go through each room of your house, from least-used to most-trafficked, and sort each and every item you see. Divide them into three piles: keepdonate, and toss.

Having trouble choosing the correct designation? Ask yourself, “Does it bring me joy?” If the answer is a true, honest-to-God yes, add it to the keep pile. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye.

Once you have the “donate” and “toss” piles in order, deal with them immediately. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to put junk into your moving boxes. You’ve already saidadios once—don’t force yourself to say it again.

Give away duplicates

Unless you’re holding onto something for sentimental reasons, now’s the time to get rid of doubles. Two wine holders? Multiple printers? Six table lamps when you need only three? Choose your favorites and say good bye to the rest.

Create an ‘open first box’

One last rule of downsizing keeps things smooth when it comes time to unpack: Create an “open first box,” complete with toilet paper, lightbulbs, toiletries, basic cleaning supplies, and bed sheets. This genius idea keeps you from having to dig through every box to fill your basic needs on your first night in your new place—just open, kick back, and relax. Just make sure to label it clearly and instruct your movers to leave it somewhere obvious.

If you’re thinking of downsizing, purchasing a new home, or relocating – I can help. Contact me Today and let’s explore your options. The marketplace is packed with inventory and home loan financing rates are at their all-time low!

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