If your current home is too large for your needs, you may be considering making the transition to a smaller space. But moving into a more compact home doesn’t come without its challenges. If you’ve accumulated plenty of stuff over the years, it can be difficult to determine what you’re comfortable parting with. If you’re unsure how to go about decluttering your house before you downsize, the experts at Ed’s Moving & Storage in Tacoma, WA share several helpful tips below.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
If you already have a new place picked out and a prospective move date lined up, you need to give yourself plenty of time to declutter before your move. Ideally, you should start the sorting process at least 90 days in advance of your move date. If you have a ton of stuff, you may need even more time.
Start by planning where you’ll place your furniture in the new place. If you have fewer bedrooms in your new home, get rid of any unnecessary furniture right away. Though you can consider opting for a climate-controlled storage unit to store those pieces, chances are you won’t use them again for a long time, if ever.
After furniture, move on to your other household items. Create a sorting system for things you want to take with you, things you want to give away, and things you may want to sell. The sooner you get started, the less stressful the decluttering process will be.
Take Photos of Each Room In Your Current Home
Taking photos of each room in your house allows you to identify the items that you truly love. For example, you might have a bunch of furniture in your spare rooms, but only two or three of those pieces are items that you really enjoy. Take a look at those photos and see what your eyes gravitate toward first — those are typically the items you’ll want to take with you.
As for the remainder of the stuff in your photos? Determine what to keep and what to let go of by assessing how frequently you use those items. Or, if they’re more decorative or sentimental in nature, be honest with yourself about how important to you they really are.
Beyond decluttering, taking photos of each room can also help you arrange your furniture and decor in your new home. And, if you’re hiring professional movers and packers to help with your relocation, your photos will help them situate your things properly during the unloading process.
Only Keep Things You Need, Use, and Love
When it comes to our possessions, the things we own often own us, which can make downsizing a somewhat heart-wrenching challenge. But if you’re moving into a smaller space, chances are you’ll need to get rid of quite a bit of stuff. Here’s a simple way to determine what to keep and what to toss:
● Need it. If you know you need an item, even if you don’t use it very often, obviously, you’ll want to pack it and take it with you. Items in this category might include medical or health equipment that you use infrequently, small kitchen appliances, certain electronics, etc.
● Use it frequently. The items you use or look at on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis help make your house a home. Whether those items are functional or decorative, they should come with you to your new place.
● Love it. This category is where you’ll need to be very honest with yourself. It’s easy to claim you love something — but is that item really important to you? If it has a lot of sentimental value, considering keeping it. But those boxes of old Christmas and birthday cards? Did you even know they were there? How often do you look at them? Chances are they’re just excess clutter, and if you want to downsize successfully, they’ve got to go.
Don’t Assume Family Members Want Your Stuff
If you’re downsizing after retirement, it’s easy to assume your kids or grandkids might want your stuff — don’t make that mistake. Many people put furniture and other large items in climate-controlled storage units so they can pass those items down to their family members. But when the time comes to hand things off, they end up discovering that their family members have no interest in inheriting their stuff.
Before you rent a long-term storage unit, ask your relatives and/or friends whether they may be interested in inheriting certain items in the future. Often, your personal style won’t align with that of your family and friends, and if you don’t ask, you won’t know. The last thing you need is to pay rental fees on a storage unit when storing your old things isn’t really necessary.
If It Doesn't Have a Designated Space, Don’t Move It
If you have items in your current home that you’re unsure of, think about whether those things will fit in your new space. If you can’t find a designated area for something, don’t take it with you.
Not only does extra stuff create a packing hassle for your professional movers and packers, but it also creates unnecessary tedium during the unpacking process in your new home. Ultimately, you’ll end up making additional trips to get rid of or store the items that don’t fit in your new space. So why not save yourself the extra effort and let that stuff go before you move?
Need Professional Movers and Packers? Contact Ed’s Moving & Storage
If you’re getting ready to move, you don’t have to tackle the process on your own. Get in touch with our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage for help! We specialize in a comprehensive variety of professional moving services, including full packing services, storage solutions, appliance moving, and custom crating, among others. We’ve proudly served the Seattle/Tacoma metro area since 1958, and we’re here to serve you too!
To learn more about our services or to get a fast moving quote, give us a call today at 253-581-2446 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.