A picture of a small move of boxes on an empty wooden floor.

Downsizing And Moving Tips: Expert Advice

The Challenge of Downsizing For A Move

Downsizing can be challenging for many reasons. Often, downsizing brings up complicated emotions, including nostalgia, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed. You're probably excited about what's coming but sad about leaving your current residence.

These complex feelings can impact your ability to make practical decisions about possessions. But, as you know, downsizing must come with some decisions about what to let go. Here are some helpful downsizing tips to help you get through these tough decisions.

Do I Need To Downsize My Move?

People downsize for a smaller move for many reasons, including reducing moving costs, adopting a minimalist lifestyle, or simply wanting to move to a smaller space to make cleaning and care easier.

Most often, the decision to downsize comes at a significant life transition, such as entering retirement or having your kids move to college.

When you're moving into a smaller space, you cannot bring all your stuff with you. Not only will there not be enough room, but almost everyone tends to clutter up a space after living there for a while. Besides, shipping your furniture can be expensive, and you could save significantly by reducing the amount of furniture you have and using a small mover to move your minimized inventory.

Decluttering is critical in downsizing and contributes to a more manageable and enjoyable living space. Small spaces will feel unrestricted if you learn to manage the space well.

As you prepare for your downsizing move, the most valuable piece of downsizing advice we can give is to use this opportunity to rid yourself of unnecessary things. Downsizing isn't just about getting rid of large items that don't fit into your new space — it's also about letting go of items you no longer use.

How Do I Downsize? Four Downsizing Tips to Follow

So, you're wondering how to downsize. Here is your step-by-step guide on approaching the downsizing process:

1. Start With Planning and Goal-Setting

Three important things to cover in the planning and goal-setting stage:

  • Plan how long you'll need to go through everything and declutter. Remember that evaluating every item you own and deciding if you'll keep it, donate it, sell it, or throw it away is emotionally draining. You may not be able to do it for eight hours straight. So, give yourself several days to tackle this big project.
  • Draw up a timeline that allows you to finish decluttering before your move. There is no point in packing up and moving items that you'll end up getting rid of later on.
  • Have a goal for how many items you want to get rid of. This goal could be "decluttering one in four items" or "filling up ten boxes of items to let go of."

2. Choose Your Decluttering Technique

Here are some effective techniques for decluttering:

  • Marie Kondo Method: Marie Kondo became an international sensation several years ago with her approach to decluttering and living minimally. Her method is simple: throw it away if it doesn't bring you joy. This simple rule can be beneficial in figuring out what to let go.
  • Box & Banish Method: Put items you're unsure about in a box and leave them hidden for a few days. When you come back to the box, you may have a fresh perspective and be able to make your decisions quicker.
  • 90/90 Days Method: This method forces you to answer: Have I used this in the last 90 days, or will I use it in the next 90 days? If the answer is no, it's a sign you should get rid of it. (Note this method doesn't work for holiday items, such as Christmas ornaments.)
  • 20/20 Method: Often, people hold onto things "just in case" they'll need them later. One way to downsize smaller items in your home is by following the 20/20 rule. If something you're not using can be replaced by spending $20 and driving less than 20 minutes from your home, you can throw it out.

3. Have Your Four Categories

Prepare to have four piles as you sort through your things: donate, sell, keep, and throw out. Place every item into one of these four categories so there is a decision behind what happens to every piece.

4. Measure Your New Space

Make sure you evaluate your new space's requirements and adjust possessions accordingly. You wouldn't want to assume your king-sized bed fits, donate the queen bed from your guest bedroom, and then find out that the king bed doesn't work in the new space.

Ensure you:

  • Take the time to measure large furniture to make sure it'll fit.
  • Take into account the changes with your new space. For example, downsizing from a two-bathroom home to a one-bathroom home means you need fewer bath items.
  • Be realistic about your space. Your new smaller closets can only contain some of the clothes you kept in your old, larger ones.

Overcoming Emotional Hurdles

As we mentioned before, decluttering can bring up some powerful feelings. We form strong attachments to objects because they remind us of a person, moment, or positive emotion. And getting rid of these items can feel like you're getting rid of a piece of yourself. But it's important to remember that these objects cannot replace your memories and feelings.

You can tackle letting go of sentimental items by taking photos of them. Or, set limits on how many items you'll keep. For example, set a rule that you need to throw away two sentimental items for every item you keep.

It can also be helpful to bring friends and family into the downsizing process. Their perspective can shed some light and guide what's not worth keeping.

Who Can Help Me With A Downsized Move?

Now that you know all the downsizing tips, it's time to focus on the move.

Ship Smart is a custom packaging, shipping, and moving provider that operates across 300 locations nationwide. We specialize in small moves and offer a variety of packages that can make your downsizing experience as smooth as possible.

Our professional services can alleviate the stress and logistical challenges of downsizing. We'll handle your sentimental items carefully, pack and transport large furniture, and offer 100% coverage protection for the entire move.

You're probably dealing with decision fatigue after making all those downsizing choices. So, let the experts at Ship Smart take over and manage the rest of your move. Call (866) 333-8018 today and benefit from a 10% discount.

Call Now to Get Started with Ship Smart
(866) 333-8018
Get Your Shipping Price 24/7!

Contact Us

  • Call Us
  • Schedule A Call
  • Leave A Message
Contact US

Free Online Estimate

  • Fast and easy
  • Instant price quote
  • No obligation
Start My Estimate