Whether you’re getting ready to retire or you’ve been retired for a while, there are many benefits to downsizing, but doing so can be challenging. To make the process easier, we’ve created tips to help you make the transition to a smaller living space.
1) Take it Step by Step
Don’t think you can tackle the task of downsizing your entire life in one weekend. The larger your home is and the more stuff you’ve accumulated, the longer it’s going to take. Break it down into manageable chunks – one room at a time. Devote a day or an entire weekend to each room so the task feels more manageable and less overwhelming.
Alternatively, you can schedule half an hour a day or one afternoon a week to decluttering and downsizing and see how much you get done in that time.
2)Keep, Donate, Dispose
As you go through your current home, divide everything into three piles: things you’re taking with you; things you can give away or donate; and things that need to be thrown away. It’s best not to think too hard about each item as you go through your home. If you have any doubts about whether to keep an item, you’re probably better off getting rid of it. If it’s broken and you’ve been meaning to get it fixed for months or even years, it’s time to admit you’re never going to get around to doing so and it’s time to let it go.
Donations are a great way for your gently used items to go to someone who can use them, and money raised from the sale of donated items can support important social services by organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity. Allied makes it easy to donate household goods, furniture and clothing to the Salvation Army.
3) Recruit Help
Recruit friends and family to help you sort through everything. As you build your giveaway pile, give your helpers a chance to keep anything that might be of sentimental value to them.
If you have kids, you probably still have some of their things in your home, even if they’ve already moved out. Let them know you’re downsizing and that anything they don’t claim now will be donated or tossed. If they live out of state, you can offer to ship things to them if that’s within your budget, but make it clear that this is their last chance to claim anything they might want.
4) Digitize When Possible
If you have tons of framed pictures and/or photo albums taking up space, you can scan all those photos and load them onto one or two digital picture frames that slide through each photo on rotation. That way you get to keep the images without the clutter.
5) Resist the Temptation to Store
Renting a storage unit is easy and seems cost-effective, making it tempting to say you’ll store items that don’t fit your new home. The reality is most, if not all, of the things you put in storage will never be used, costing you money. When you think about putting something into storage, put it in the giveaway pile instead.
Whether you’re downsizing or upsizing, we at Allied Van Lines are here to help. Start here to get a quote and begin the process of seeing how we make your move as easy and stress free as possible.