Consolidating your belongings before your residential move is a good idea for several reasons. It will make your new home more manageable and easy to maintain. You’ll also have an easier move because you’ll have less to pack, unpack, and find space. Finally, you’ll save money because a significant factor in the cost of your move is the amount of stuff you have to move.
Here are some tips on decluttering and downsizing before a move.
As soon as you begin thinking about your move, begin to sort. The process often takes longer than you expect.
Consider Lifestyle Needs
Before beginning to declutter, consider your lifestyle after the move. For example, will you want to entertain regularly? Will you still be working? Will you be outdoors more or less? You’ll want to keep items that will support your new lifestyle while eliminating those that don’t.
Plan Each Room
Begin by measuring each room in your new home. Then, measure the furniture you already have to ensure it will fit in the space while leaving room for the activities you want to pursue. Also, measure each closet so you’ll know the amount of storage space you have. Discard any item that won’t fit in your new home.
Take Inventory and Purge
Once you’ve determined your lifestyle and space, you can take inventory and purge. Go room by room, taking inventory of your furnishings, clothes, and other items and sorting them into four piles: keep, sell, give away, and discard.
Keep items in good condition that will remain useful in your new home and aren’t duplicates. Sell or give away duplicates, clothes, and furnishings in good condition that you don’t wear anymore or no longer fit in your lifestyle or new home. Throw away items in poor condition or you can’t sell or give away.
Getting Rid of Items
If you want extra cash, you can sell items on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and other online sales sites. You can also have a garage sale. If you have many high-quality items, consider an estate sale.
You can also improve the lives of needy people by donating to local or national charities. Some charities will pick up the items at your home.
Some items have sentimental value but won’t fit in your new space. Consider passing these along to family members; however, consult a tax adviser or attorney if you pass along expensive items such as antique furniture.
Before you pass sentimental items along, take time to say goodbye. One way to bid an item farewell is to write down the memory the item evokes and then take a photo you will keep. You might also convert the item to a different form; for example, you can turn home movies or photos into digital files that take up no space.
Ask family and friends for help with sorting, decluttering, and parting with items. Your professional mover can also offer tips to help as you downsize. Contact us today for a free quote.