How to Downsize Without Losing Your Mind

Man and woman moving to a smaller homeThere are different reasons for moving to a smaller home. It may be about facing an empty nest, cutting costs, moving in with a significant other, moving out of parents’ property, or something else entirely.

Whatever the reason behind the move, choosing a smaller home makes you face the prospect of downsizing. The bigger your former residence and the more possessions you have, the more extreme the downsizing.

Here are a few ideas to help you take care of all of those possessions that won’t all fit in your new abode.

Make an inventory of your things and go from there

This may not be as easy as it sounds, especially if you have several closets bursting with clothes, large furniture, antiques, or even several cars. To make it just a little easier, ask yourself this question: would you replace it if you lose it? By asking that question, you are already dropping things one by one and realizing you don’t need them. To maximize your time in doing this, do a room-to-room inventory.

The necessities are the ideal items you should keep. Examples may include your laptop, one car, and a pair of shoes for every purpose (regular, not seasonal). To get rid of the extra clothes, drop all of the ones you have not worn in the last one year.

Sell the stuff you don’t need

Whatever does not fall under the “necessities” category may still be useful to someone else, so you should sell it. Organize a garage sale, sell them online, or both. Don’t price them like new. Just throw similar items into boxes and post a price of $5 or so. You’re not doing this for a profit; you just need to get rid of the things.

Whatever doesn’t sell, you can just donate to charity or give to friends. Your friends who are helping you move get first dibs on what they want before the sale.

Get a storage

You may not be ready just yet to part with the Jaguar you’ve been restoring for a year, or the antique cabinets. You may be pressed for time. Whatever the case, you don’t have to take those items with you and risk sleeping on your feet in your new digs. Find a storage close to where you are moving. For instance, get self-storage from Bond Storage in Santa Barbara, CA if that’s where you’re moving, so you have access to your things in case you need them.

Downsizing can be a challenge. Some people even get emotional about it. Work with a system to help make downsizing less undesirable.