How to Downsize for a Move?

Relocations are downright one of the most nerve-wracking events in our life. It’s hard to be level-headed in the middle of preparations. It’s especially so if we’re about to move to a smaller residence and should quickly figure out how to downsize for a move. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of tips out there to help you with this mission.

person under a pile of boxes overlay
September 1, 2017 Posted in Moving Tips

Whenever we plan to relocate, whatever reasons to move we have to drive us, the ultimate goal is to move efficiently. But in truth, it’s harder to do it if you plan to relocate to a smaller home because many of your belongings probably won’t fit. Besides having a more extensive list of household objects, we all hoard lots of unnecessary stuff. It’s a natural process because, according to the 2018 American Community Survey research that lasted for one year, the average homeownership time is about 13 years. That is quite enough time to pile up belongings that we use, but also some needless things. But, how do you downsize things?

Why Downsizing a Home May Be the Right Thing to Do

Figuring out what to get rid of before we move out can be beneficial in many ways. First of all, it’s probably way past due to sorting out the possessions in your home. Second, decluttering will enable us to save up because having fewer items in moving inventory will mean saving on relocating costs. If you plan to invest in long-distance moving services from reliable cross-country movers, their packing service will cost less if they have fewer belongings to handle. You can also earn a dime or two if you organize a garage sale and sell some of your stuff. The following video talks about why decluttering is good for you.

Prepare for Long-Distance Moving Ahead of Time

There’s probably only one correct answer to the question – “How do you prepare for a downsize move?” The best way to prepare is to start early, ahead of the move-out date. Decluttering should be very high on your to-do list, and it’s something you can begin as early as three months before the move-out date. It may be too early to start packing for a move, but it’s never too early to get rid of anything you don’t require.

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Determine the Best Way to Grapple With Unwanted Items

As you’ll use many relocating hacks, such as color-coding the boxes, so you can easily unpack after the move, you’ll need advice every step of the way when you begin downsizing. The main question you’re probably asking yourself is – How do I start decluttering to move? Planning your strategy should be the initial step if you’re trying to figure out how to downsize a home. You can go through your possessions by category, but probably the best approach would be to go room-by-room. Our advice is to start where you don’t usually enter frequently, and these are the attic, toolshed, and garage.

Brown blocks on a desk
Make a strategy out of decluttering

How to Downsize for a Move With the Use of These Easy Steps

Although you won’t need to immediately acquire all the types of packing materials that are required for the move, it would be advisable to fetch some best-sized boxes, preferably medium ones. You can also obtain garbage bags, packing tape, and a marker so that you can sort everything out more quickly. When you begin sorting out, make sure you divide everything into several piles and pack accordingly.

Make a Pile of Things You’ll Throw Away

Since the cheapest way to move out of state with your family includes transporting fewer things, begin by getting rid of unusable stuff. This is perhaps the easiest step in decluttering because it’s simple to determine which objects are beyond repair. Just be honest to yourself about each object – there are probably many things that you’ve never got around to fixing and are due to end up in the trash.

A girl with a garbage bag
Be thorough when you begin discarding the unusable stuff

Contact Your Long-Distance Movers and Ask For the List of Non-Allowables

While rummaging through the less frequented spaces and getting rid of stuff, it’s a good idea to contact the relocation company and ask for the list of items movers won’t move or pack. Some of these things can find their way to the garbage bin right away, and some should be disposed of later on. This list includes all objects and materials that they consider hazardous, flammable, or perishable:

  • These include paints and solvents, alcohol, gasoline, and similar materials we usually keep in the garage or toolshed. Also, any type of aerosols, ammonia, and spare car batteries should be disposed of.
  • Even the less obvious stuff such as fertilizer, pool chemicals, and SCUBA tanks can pose a danger during transport.
  • Deodorants, nail polish, nail polish remover, and similar objects we use in our household can be flammable and thus can’t go into the back of a truck.
  • Perishable foods are also on this list. While they are not considered hazardous in a literal way, they will spoil and thus cause damage to your other belongings. Some foods can go into your bag of relocating essentials, and others should be thrown away or used up before you move out.

This list also includes plants, as well as pets. No living thing should be transported on a truck, where temperatures can go up pretty high during the summer months. Plants can be left behind, or you can prepare them and transport them yourself, and your furry companions should go either with you or with a pet relocation service.

Create a Pile for Donating to Help Someone in Need

After you’ve made the “throwaway” pile of useless and broken things, the next pile should consist of objects that are still in good condition but you don’t want any more. These things should find a way to a charity, and you can give away different kinds of items. Find out where to donate books, and contact the charity where you can donate furniture. If you have a family and you’re relocating with kids, they probably would love to sort out their rooms and donate toys that they don’t play with anymore. You can even donate clothes for the homeless, as well as shoes, linen, and many other unwanted possessions.

Make Some Money by Throwing a Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to declutter some more and earn cash at the same time. If you’ve never organized a similar event before, here are a few tips. The best day for a yard sale is one weekend day, probably Saturday morning. Advertise it well in your neighborhood, and post an announcement on social media to attract as many people as possible. Sort the stuff into groups and be sure the pricing is clearly visible. A successful garage sale will help you both ways – you’ll get rid of stuff and earn some money to add to the budget.

A pile of comics for sale
A garage sale is a great way to earn some money and declutter simultaneously

Before You Pack Your Furniture, Consider Self-Storage

When you start thinking about how to downsize when moving into an apartment or a smaller house, bulky furniture is one of the things that comes to mind. Some of it is probably for keeping. Either the pieces have sentimental value or are too expensive to give up easily. But, the question is – will it fit? If the answer is no, or you’re simply not sure, the best possible scenario is to invest in a storage service. When you search the internet for “long distance movers near me,” make sure you check if they offer long-term storage and look for advice on how to protect items in storage units.

Don’t Overdo Shopping for the New Place

You’re getting ready to enter your new apartment and arrange it to your liking. Since you’ve already got rid of most things from your old place, it’s time to create a new apartment shopping list. This is where you’ll still have to keep in mind the downsizing part. Don’t get too carried away with buying – shop only the necessary pieces.

But Choose the Multipurpose Pieces

If you’ve never lived in a high-rise or an apartment complex before, you’ll need some more first apartment tips to help you organize your move into it. Since you are settling in and arranging a much smaller space, keep in mind that your furniture should be practical and multipurpose. Sofas with storage underneath, a coffee table that has hidden compartments, and shelves that can be mounted to a wall are a perfect solution. Stay away from large pieces of furniture that will only clutter the place and make it look less spacious.

Arranging the furniture after the long-distance moving company unloaded everything
Use the space you have to your advantage

The Marie Kondo Method and the Minimalist Approach

The author of the bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo, has a motto you can use when you begin downsizing. She says that the goal of the KonMari Method is to keep only items that spark joy. On the other hand, the minimalist approach goes even further and claims that you should value experience over possessions. Both of these methods are good lifestyle choices, and the best opportunity to test them is if you are moving for a relationship so you will share a small space with your significant other. Relocating for love means new beginnings, so you may as well try a new lifestyle.

A comfy sofa near a table
Minimalism is a freeing experience that can look good in terms of interior design

It’s Best if You Let It Become a Habit

Relocating to a new home is an adventure, even when you have to go a great length to pull it off. But being well organized means avoiding a great deal of moving stress. Just as investing in an auto transport service will relieve you of driving anxiety, following good relocating tips will help you declutter and save on space and money and enable you to have a stress-free relocation. The greatest advice of all is to keep the downsizing spirit alive, even after you’ve settled into the place. Less clutter means you’ll save up on time and feel less anxious about not finding what you need around the house. It will also be thinking about the future – the next time you want to pull your anchor and sail away toward another destination, you’ll have fewer belongings to worry about.

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.



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