19 Nov 2015
downsizing-3-kiplinger

Downsizing a home can be tough. If it’s time for downsizing, whether from a mansion to a condo or from a four-bedroom to a three-bedroom, it’s time to seriously edit your belongings. And we can help. Check out our tips for downsizing.

BE POSITIVE

We know what you’re thinking; it’s impossible. And, you’re probably right. But, instead of dreading the task of downsizing, think about the rewards. Whether you’re downsizing to a smaller home, or freeing yourself from hoarderdom, purging objects can be invigorating.

TAKE MEASUREMENTS

While you may love your current furniture, it may not love your new space. Measure large pieces of furniture, and compare those measurements to the available space in your new home.

PLAN FOR YOUR ACTUAL LIFE, NOT AN IMAGINED ONE

Yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it before, “one day” you really are going to use that ThighMaster and take up knitting. It’s time to kiss those thighs and needles goodbye. The first step toward downsizing is to take an honest look at your normal lifestyle. If you have things around that you rarely use, say goodbye,

SLEEP ON IT OR STICK IT

It’s difficult to make a decision on-the-spot, especially when it comes to your old GI Joes and last season’s sweet cargo shorts. Let your brain continue to work on the problem (sleep on it) while you do other things. If it helps you stay organized, designate a specific color sticky note to attach to items you’re unsure whether to keep.

EVALUATE YOUR COLLECTIONS

We’re sure your first date was highly impressed with your Pez dispenser collection from around the world. Collections can be fun, but downsizing is a time to consider whether to abandon old hobbies (dare we say fetishes?). If your collection is precious to you despite your lack of space at home, consider housing it in a storage unit.

GET BRUTAL IN THE KITCHEN

Downsizing often means you’ll end up with a smaller kitchen. You likely have 10 million gadgets and small electrical appliances you haven’t used in months. Kitchens are notorious junk collectors. If you don’t use it, pitch it.

SELL, DUMP, DONATE OR STORE

That pretty much sums it up. Once you’ve done the hard work of deciding which items are goners: sell, dump, donate or store. Start with a garage sale or online listing. Trash the trash. Anything you don’t trash or sell can be donated, and what you can’t bring yourself to donate, can be stored in a storage unit.

START NOW

Procrastination is a downsizer’s biggest enemy. Downsizing requires time for reflection and honesty. Those things don’t mix well with urgency and stress. So, kick procrastination decisively in the behind and get started.

COMPARE SPACES

Before you throw out your grandmother’s wedding gown in the name of “downsizing,” you need to have a good idea of the storage space in your new home. Compare your current and future bedroom closets, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, coat closets, pantries, attics, hidden storage nooks and outdoor storage spaces.

BE ABSOLUTELY THOROUGH

Open every drawer, look on the high shelves, venture into the attic, check outdoor storage bins and scour the garage. It’s no fun to think you’re ready to move, only to find your collection of stuffed animals and math textbooks creatively hidden.

STORE VEHICLES

Your new neighbors may not appreciate an RV parked on your front lawn, but giving up a garage doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your car, truck, RV or motorcycle. Outdoor storage is an affordable option for vehicles that still fit in your life, but no longer fit in your space.

RECOGNIZE THE HEIRLOOMS

Yes, you can get rid of your 7th grade soccer trophy. No, you can’t get rid of your grandfather’s pocket watch. Life just isn’t fair. Even when you don’t have the space, some things are worth keeping around for the next generation (and others aren’t). Antiques and family heirlooms can be safely stored inside a climate-controlled storage unit.