Moving into a new house is always a bittersweet experience, especially if it’s to downsize. While you are excited to start new memories and a new chapter in a brand-new space, either by yourself or with loved ones, you are also leaving behind so many wonderful memories in a space that you called home for so many years. When moving, if the plan is to downsize, this can be an even more difficult experience, because you are not only parting ways with your old home, but also many belongings that you have had there as well.

When downsizing, it is important to look at the experience as a positive one – it is an opportunity to totally refresh, start anew, and begin a new phase of your life. Plus, getting rid of clutter or items that you have not used in several years offers the opportunity to fill your new space with things that you really love, and new things as well.

If you are purchasing a smaller home, whether due to the fact that you are becoming an empty nester, you are looking to save more money, or you find yourself traveling a lot, you may be looking for some tips on how you can successfully downsize without having to purge any special items.

Check out some tips and tricks on how you can downsize and live a clutter-free lifestyle: 

How to downsize your home

Have a plan and measure your new space ahead of time.

First off, when you downsize, you must have a plan. Before you begin packing items up or getting rid of anything, take a trip to your new home and accurately measure each of the rooms. During this time, take as many photos and videos as you can of storage areas that are already within the home, as well as any opportunities to build storage that you see. These measurements are key so you can decide what furniture you currently own should stay, and what furniture you will need to purchase for your new home. 

Begin the process early. 

No one ever enjoys feeling rushed, so even if you find that you are normally a procrastinator, you must force yourself to begin this process as early as you possibly can! When it comes to a downsize, you will need an ample amount of time to sort through every inch of your house without feeling overwhelmed. Generally speaking, you want to aim to start at least 2-3 months ahead of time, or even sooner if it is possible.

Beginning the process early can also include ensuring that you are throwing away items that you no longer need along the way, so that you are not building up any additional clutter before you officially begin decluttering each room. Remember to pace yourself and not rush anything!

Focus on one room at a time. 

A great way to tackle a project as large as this is to focus on one room at a time. By focusing on one room at a time, you will ensure that you are not getting too overwhelmed, and it will help you to stay more organized. One room at a time is a much more manageable project to think about than your entire home. Try creating a schedule for each room so that you can hold yourself accountable and you are able to keep yourself on track.

Declutter, declutter, declutter. 

The most dreaded part of a downsize – the decluttering. This will be the most time-consuming task of all, so it is important that you pace yourself and do it right! During the decluttering process, you will be packing up items that you are going to keep, deciding on what to get rid of, and then deciding on whether you should sell the items, donate them, or just throw them away.

Make sure that you set ground rules ahead of time so that you are totally clear on what you are keeping and where it will go in your new home. Ensure that each of your items falls into a specific category! And, for any personal items such as photographs or anything handwritten, consider digitizing these items so that you will have them forever!

Looking to downsize? Check out our Featured Listings for smaller, cozy homes.

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