A move brings with it mixed emotions. You feel elated about getting a new start in a new area. You feel sad about leaving your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues. And you likely feel stressed about all of the packing and moving tasks before you.
That stress is only amplified when you take a look at all of your belongings. Looking at the big picture can cause you to feel anxious, rather than exited, about your upcoming new start. To make your move a little less stressful, consider downsizing your belongings.
No matter how much you have to move, downsizing allows you to pack and move your household more efficiently. Below, we’ve listed five tips to help you successfully cut out unnecessary items before your next move.
1. Tackle One Room at a Time
As previously mentioned, looking at your entire home at once can cause you to feel anxious. You may see various items scattered across your home, and you think that you have to pack and move every single item in your home.
To combat this idea, work from room to room. As you focus on individual rooms, you won’t worry so much about everything as a whole. You won’t feel as anxious as you pack, and you can better determine which items you’d like to keep and which ones don’t have as much value to you.
Additionally, you’ll want to start downsizing each room at least three months before your move date. This extra time allows you to downsize, pack, and clean at a decent pace, reducing the rush and chaos you may feel in the weeks before moving day.
2. Determine Needs vs. Wants
Another way to downsize your belongings is to determine which items you need and which items aren’t necessary for your new home. Determining your needs allows you to keep the items that have the most value to your home.
Again, work from room to room, and make a list of “need” items. For example, if you look in your living room, you’d likely see furniture, throw pillows, magazines, papers, old toys, and other items. Furniture and throw pillows are necessities you’ll need in your new abode, so write them down on your list.
However, items like old papers, shredded magazines, and unused toys don’t make your house a home. They aren’t necessary for the functionality and aesthetic of the room, so you can safely get rid of these unnecessary knickknacks.
3. Consider Items That Need to Be Replaced
As you decide which items are necessary for your new home, you’ll also want to consider an item’s age and condition. If an item needs to be replaced, it’s better to get rid of it now and buy a new one once you settle into your new area.
If you have an old couch that has lost its shape, it’s likely time for an upgrade. Rather than pay to move this aged piece of furniture, take it to a recycling center that can strip the couch down for reusable parts.
4. Keep the Total Space of Your New Home in Mind
Perhaps one of the most important features to consider when downsizing is the space of your new house. If your new abode has less square footage than your current house, you can’t fit all of your possessions into the space.
Measure your furniture so you know how much free space you’ll actually have in each room once you settle into your home. Then, you can better determine which items you can bring with you and which ones you should get rid of.
5. Note an Item’s Sentimental Value
Finally, take note of the sentimental value behind a piece. If you own a set of heirloom china that your great grandmother gave you as a wedding gift, you’ll want to hold on to it. But if you have a collection of old, unused sheets and linens, you should dispose of them.
While you work in each room, determine the sentimental value each item has. Toss items that have no value and keep items that do.
If you don’t have enough space in your new home to accommodate all of your sentimental belongings, place them in a storage unit. Or, to save money, take pictures of the items and place the photos in a scrapbook that you can cherish for years.
Not Sure What to Do With These Extra Items?
Once you’ve decided which items you’d like to dispose of, you need to do something with them. If your belongings are in good condition, hold a garage or yard sale to make a few extra bucks. You can also sell some items online. No time to hold a successful sale? Donate your items to a thrift store such as Goodwill, or ask your friends and family members if they could use any of your unwanted items.
Keep in mind that trash collectors won’t accept most large, bulky items (such as furniture). For leftover furniture and appliances, ask a disposal facility or recycling center to dispose of these items for you.
As you prepare for your next move, follow the tips above to efficiently downsize your home. You’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get rid of-and how much money you can save in the process. For more moving- and packing-related tips, check out the rest of our blog.