How to Downsize Your Home for a Move

Decluttering and minimizing before departing for your new house can feel overwhelming, but it does not have to be with our guide for how to downsize your house.

How to Downsize Your Home for a Move

Buying a new home smaller than the one you live in now and unsure how to downsize your home? You have the perfect opportunity to downsize no matter why you’re moving. Our downsizing home checklist breaks the decluttering process into simple steps, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

4 Reasons to Downsize Your Home
  1. It could improve your mental health.
    The bigger your home, the more items you have and the more mental space it occupies. Getting rid of things helps simplify your life, free your mind and create less temptation to accumulate additional items (less space in your new, smaller home).
  2. Easier to maintain.
    Tidying up your home and preparing for the seasons can be a lot of work. Less space means less house chores for you to do and more time to relax and partake in some self-care.
  3. Lower monthly expenses.
    Homeownership costs can add up, but transitioning to a smaller home could lead to decreased costs for insurance, property taxes and energy use. This could allow you to build up your emergency funds or work towards your financial goals.
  4. Opportunity to alleviate debt.
    Less financial obligations also help you face your debt and begin your debt-free journey. Consider trying helpful techniques like the debt snowball or avalanche methods to help manage your debt.
How to Downsize in 10 Easy Steps
  1. Start early.
    You can begin downsizing weeks before you settle on the house. Doing a little each day instead of tackling everything at once and waiting until the last minute can help you to avoid poor decision-making, such as throwing away a treasured item to have less to pack.
  2. Use a room-by-room approach.
    It feels more manageable to focus on a room vs. a house. Begin with the most daunting task in the room, like going through a junk drawer or matching your Tupperware lids.
  3. Look at future floor plans and measure your things.
    Whether you’re buying a new or old house, you need to know how much of your furniture can fit. Measure what you have and see how to arrange it to maximize space.
  4. Declutter with “keep” and “toss” piles.
    Sort all your non-furniture items in each room into a pile you will keep and a pile you will toss or donate.
  5. Consider the new lifestyle that comes with your home.
    It may require fewer tools. Are you moving to a townhome where the homeowners association mows the grass? Get rid of your lawnmower. Does your house come with new appliances? Sell off your existing ones.
  6. Give away sentimental items.
    Saving your great-grandmother’s gravy bowl, which you never use, takes up space. Set aside a few meaningful yet practical things for the next generation, such as a still-functioning grandfather clock, and donate the rest, like your collection of vintage beanie babies.
  7. Invest in space-saving furniture.
    Every inch of gained space helps in a smaller house. Get a coffee table that includes drawers to store board games and books. Buy a chair that folds into a single bed.
  8. Get rid of duplicates.
    You don’t need two ice cream scoops or copies of the same book. Worried you may need that extra roasting pan you only use at Thanksgiving? Ask a family member with more space to store it.
  9. Create an inventory.
    List everything you are packing and where it will go in the new home to simplify the moving process, freeing up time to concentrate on other essential tasks like rekeying the house.
  10. Channel your inner minimalistic self.
    Remind yourself that less (stuff) equals more (space). Take pictures of things you might miss to preserve their memory, then eliminate them.

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