Downsizing can be easier said than done! It’s perfectly normal that people struggle with letting go of their belongings or whittling down a household full of memorabilia. Here are some tips and tricks from MakeSpace Chief Organizing Officer, Jamie Hord, founder of Horderly Professional Organizing on how to go about downsizing your home and making the most out of a smaller space.
1. Think ahead
Decluttering and letting go is an obvious step when downsizing your home, however, don’t wait for moving day to get started! Decluttering your entire home is going to take a decent amount of time and take longer than you think! It’s crucial that you take the time to declutter properly because when making quick decisions at the last minute, you might end up making the wrong decision. When decluttering in a rush, things can get tossed that you may have wanted or needed to keep and other things might be kept when, in fact, they aren’t necessary to keep. Overall, decluttering is a process that will take much time and thought.
It’s also important to get to know your new space before you move. Take measurements and plan ahead on what items are going to fit well and what isn’t. This is going to help you visually imagine what’s realistic and this will also make paring down your belongings much easier!
2. Go room by room
When decluttering, completely declutter 1 room before moving on to the next. Start with the big furniture pieces and think of the obvious. For example, if you’re moving from a 5 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom home – you will have to decide on which 2 beds you want to take with you and which 3 you don’t.
Once you’ve touched on all big furniture items, start pulling out and sorting everything else in the room. Sort into piles of “likes with likes” so you can see how much you have of each item and keep only the best of the best! For example, all the books together, all the clothes together, all the linens together, etc.
Touch on everything! Once you’re done with one room, move on to another and go through the same process of fully pulling out, sorting, and deciding whether it’s a keep, toss or donate. Mark each of your piles and larger items with post-it notes so you can easily keep track of the decisions you’ve made.
3. Consider what’s essential
Downsizing your home doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist! However, it’s a great time to really consider each item in your home and whether it’s essential enough to move with you to this new chapter of your life!
Once you’ve gone through and decided what’s keep vs toss/donate, consider what out of your “keep” items you actively use and need in your life, currently. Items like storage, mementos, seasonal items, etc. can be stored – this way, you will only be living with the items you need and love at that time!
Living essentially will make your daily habits, routines and activities so much easier. It is like a weight lifted off you back when you only have everything you need and know exactly where it is with no excess!
After you declutter, you will have to allocate the items that aren’t going to your new home. Now is the time to coordinate with family members to pick up items, sell items that need sold, schedule donation pickup and/or junk removal, and coordinate storage needs. All of these items will need to be dealt with before the moving truck pulls up.
If you’re in need of storage, consider MakeSpace. They make it super easy to store your nonessential items – providing you with the packing supplies, movers, photo inventory and on demand delivery!
At Horderly, we love the ease that MakeSpace brings to our downsizing clients. We understand that downsizing your home and storing items away is not always easy but it’s enlightening to know that you can hop on the MakeSpace app to remember and know exactly what you’re storing and get those items delivered to you when you need them, only at a touch of a button!
5. Maximize your new space
You might have to think differently and get creative with your new, smaller space when unpacking and setting up your new home. Every square inch matters when downsizing!
6. Maintaining a small space
Follow the 1 in 1 out rule! When you bring something new into your home, get rid of something old. For example, if you purchase a new pot or pan, get rid of an old one!
Check in with your space regularly. Even if you’re following the 1 in 1 out rule, remember that you change and grow over time. And, your opinion about certain items in your home will change as well. Take the time every year or so to reconsider what you’re living with.
Label so that everyone is on the same page of where to find things and where to put them back. This will give everything a proper home. Plus, it’ll help you remember what you have so that you’re not over purchasing anything.