Tips for Downsizing
Moving often means downsizing to a smaller residence. McCarthy Transfer & Storage is honored to have helped many of our customers with their downsizing relocation. Over the years we have come to learn that whatever the reason for downsizing, it can be one of life’s most stressful times. Sorting through a lifetime’s accumulation of belongings and memories can test the most organized among us.
A lot of the most important work in the downsizing process occurs before the professional movers show up. Don’t wait to make decisions. Start planning your downsizing early and set goals. For couples and families, make sure everyone is on the same page to eliminate conflicts and hurt feelings down the road.
Here are some suggestions for first steps to take when downsizing.
Avoid tackling the whole house in one go. Allow yourself ample time for the task and limit yourself to a few hours of this work each day. When possible, spread the work over many days or weeks. Remember that you aren’t sorting solely through stuff; you are also revisiting memories.
Before you do anything—before you even move and know how much space you have to move into, the first thing to do is take a close inventory of your belongings. Ask yourself, If everything you owned was lost in a fire, what would you replace? Take stock of the things that are actually important to you, and the things that you could live without, or could actually replace or downsize along with your living space.
Decide what to do with your large furniture items first. These decisions can be made without disrupting your current living environment.
Begin in rooms that you don’t use with frequency. When you’re ready to sort smaller items, start in rooms that you live in less. For example, it may make sense to save the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen for last so that your daily living needs are minimally disrupted.
Establish a system for sorting belongings. If it’s chipped, broken, or stained, toss it.
Use color-coded stickers to mark your items by destination.
- Keep & move to new location
- Move to storage
- Give to a loved one
It’s also a good idea to have an “uncertain” category; you can then come back later with more information and make the final decision. Accept help in sorting and packing your belongings If you can’t decide whether to keep or kiss that dusty ’70s-era sewing machine goodbye, “It’s good to have someone who’ll say, ‘Oh, please, you never use that!'” It might just be the kick you need.