A Clutter-Free Guide to Downsizing Your Home

young couple packing their stuffs in boxes

Are you getting ready to retire and downsize your home when you do? One recent survey revealed that more than 40% of older Americans plan on downsizing once they're finished working.

And it's not just older Americans who are downsizing these days, either. In recent years, those of all ages have talked about how they no longer need humongous houses to be happy. They're content with living in smaller spaces, even if it means getting rid of some of their stuff.

Regardless of what age you might be, downsizing your home may sound like an appealing option to you. But before you make the move from a large home into a smaller one, you should take the time to learn how to downsize.

As part of this process, it's a good idea for you to remember that downsizing and decluttering pretty much go hand in hand. You're going to need to donate things or throw them out while figuring out how to downsize your home.

Here is a guide that will help lead the way.

Begin by Thinking About How Big You Want Your Next Home to Be

Have you given some thought to how big you want your next house to be once you move out of your current one? If you haven't, this is something you should do before doing anything else.

The size of your next home is going to determine how much downsizing you have to do when it comes to all of your things. If you currently have stuff crammed into every corner in a 3,000-square-foot home and your goal is to move into a 1,000-square-foot home next, you'll need to discard quite a few things between now and then.

You can get a much better feel for how downsizing your home is going to go by looking around at houses you might want to move into and deciding how big your future home is going to be.

Start Going Through Your Possessions and Performing an Initial Purge

Once you have some idea of how much downsizing you're going to need to do, the next order of business will be beginning to purge some of your personal possessions. You want to downsize your belongings so that you don't have to bring too much to your next home.

You should start purging things found deep in your attic and basement. Look around for things that you know that you're not going to use anytime soon and get rid of them.

If possible, you should try to donate as much as you can while purging your personal possessions. But you can also throw out or recycle anything that might be falling apart or worthless to other people.

Find Better Ways to Organize Things You Know You're Going to Keep

One important thing to keep in mind when figuring out how to downsize for a move: You don't have to throw out everything. There are going to be lots of things that you'll want to keep moving forward.

That's all well and good. But when you're going through these things and putting them into your "keep" pile, you should think about better ways to organize them in your new home.

For example, if you have six cardboard boxes filled with fine china that you want to keep, you might be able to consolidate those boxes so that you only have one or two of them. It'll make it so much easier to store them and cut down on the amount of space your boxes take up.

Consider Sticking Some of Your Things Into a Storage Unit

In addition to finding more effective ways to store things you plan on keeping when downsizing your home, you should also consider renting a storage unit to keep them in. This is a good way to steer clear of cluttering up your new home.

Ask these questions when you're trying to find the right self-storage facility for all your stuff. You should look for an easily accessible facility that will put your things at your fingertips and help you keep them organized.

Commit to Downsizing Some or All of Your Furniture

Unless you're currently using furniture that has some sort of sentimental value to you and your family, you should try and downsize as much of it as you can while making a move. You're not going to be able to fit a giant sectional couch or a whole host of oversized bedroom furniture in your new, smaller house.

If your furniture is on the newer side, try and sell it so that you can afford to replace it with all new furniture. If it's old anyway, donate it or throw it out and start from scratch in your new place.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Move Through the Downsizing Process

Downsizing your home isn't something that you're going to be able to do overnight. In fact, it could take weeks and maybe even months to work your way through the whole downsizing process.

Give yourself all the time you need and try not to feel rushed. If you feel like you're being forced to downsize, it's going to be hard to make tough decisions as far as what to throw out and what to keep. You'll want to keep it all!

But when you move at your own pace, you'll be able to make rational decisions and downsize your belongings way more effectively than you would be able to otherwise.

Downsizing Your Home Is a Tall Task, but It Can Be Done

Moving from a very big home to a much smaller home can be a huge challenge for many people. Some make the mistake of trying to shoehorn all their old stuff into their new house and end up with a cluttered mess on their hands.

Don't do this when you're downsizing your home. Instead, use this guide and the tips found in it to make downsizing much easier. You'll be able to get rid of things you don't want or need anymore so that you can start fresh in your new downsized house.

Check out the articles on our blog for some tips on how to sell a home during downsizing.


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