Whatever your reasons are for moving to a smaller house, one thing is certain: You won’t be able to take all of your stuff with you. Here is some advice for downsizing.
Measure the dimensions of each room in your current home and in the new one. Then determine what will fit. It helps to draw up a floor plan and sketch out where each piece of furniture will go. Also really think about room for traffic. If you have less than three or four feet to pass through an area, you might want to rethink the furniture arrangement.
List the Essentials
Some things in your home are necessities, but a lot are just “nice-to-haves.” List your inventory and categorize. Your categories could be: keep, donate, sell, store, and throw out. Remember, some items that are essential can be downsized themselves (e.g. swap out a king bed for a full-size).
Get Plenty of Storage
- dishware (think all of those dishes you only use during the holidays)
- sports equipment (e.g., skis, snowboards)
- furniture you can’t part with
- decorations (for those of you who go all out on Halloween or Christmas)
Rid Yourself of Unnecessary Things
There are so many things in your home that you wouldn’t miss if you had to part with them: books that you’ve read and will likely not read again, t-shirts that were given to you for free, or that kitchen tool you only have on hand “just in case” you make that one dish. And while it may be nice to have multiples or a large supply of items (e.g. a dozen wine glasses for the dinner party you’ve never thrown), there’s simply no space for “nice-to-haves” at the new place.
Take a look at everything you can’t take with you or store, and determine what each item is potentially worth. Head to Craigslist or host a yard sale to get rid of these items (and make some extra money in the process). Any money that you collect can be put toward moving or replacing the big items with more space-efficient ones.