Downsizing or Resizing?

Downsizing or Resizing?

photo of very messy home office

Source: Messy-Home-Office-©

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So it’s time to move to a different home and you’re worried about making things fit in the new place.

photo of very messy home office

Source: Messy-Home-Office-©

Moving into a new house is usually emotional.  Excitement and sadness can add to your stress.  Looking forward to something new is exciting while leaving your memories behind is saddening.  Add downsizing or resizing to the mix and it can be overwhelming.

But whether you are downsizing or resizing moving is the best opportunity to weed out unwanted “stuff”.    Getting rid of clutter before you move is the way to go.  Deciding on what is “clutter” sometimes requires painful decision-making.  But making those decisions before you start packing boxes can make the entire process much easier.

Here are three steps for downsizing without sacrificing your meaningful belongings.

Grab a pen, a pad of paper, and a tape measure

Measure your current space and then head over to the new place and measure every room.  Take a few minutes to measure the actual wall space between windows and archways too.  If you’re thinking about moving large pieces of furniture -make sure there is adequate space.  Don’t rely on your memory.   Jot down all the measurements for future use.   Knowing the size and storage requirements can help you decide what to move.

Moving is a big emotional job, so don’t wait until the last minute to complete it.  It’s a good time to call on family or good friends to help to provide another perspective on items you’re not sure about.  Overwhelmed with the whole process and needing somebody to just get everything you don’t want to be removed and donated or trashed.  Local companies like HOMEstretch provides specific services to clear out a property.

Most experts tell you to sort through furniture first.  Once you’ve decided on what you’re taking you’ll have a better idea about storage capacity.

Preserve and protect precious items

Photos, slide trays, old 8mm movie reels?  Yes, I am the proud owner of all of them.  And I can assure you while my children would like a few photos from the old days they aren’t interested in boxes of old photos.

Look into digitizing photos to share them with family. Digitizing photos and family documents is a great way to save and share pictures.  Some of my clients have enlisted their grandkids to help upload the photos and help design the book.  Sounds like a win/win.

Plan on moving and handing down china, crystal, sterling serving pieces, and old keepsakes?  Now is the time to make sure the intended recipients actually want it.  Many family members don’t want the responsibility or upkeep to keep the contents of grandma’s china cabinet.  To make sure those treasured pieces end up where they are wanted check with the intended recipients to see if they really want it.  If they don’t now is the time to give it to somebody who would like it or make a donation to a reputable charity. n short don’t pack and move keepsakes nobody wants.  It’s extremely difficult to just toss old letters, memorabilia, or family treasures.  Remember there are companies who will also scan and digitize printed material allowing you and the next user to enjoy it without having the actual paper stored inside boxes.

Downsizing is an emotional process. You will discover items you haven’t seen in years, and you will have to decide what to do with them. Give yourself some time to reminisce, and then make a decision. Keep in mind your space limitations. Take with you what is truly valuable — only you can decide what you can’t do without.

Sorting useful and not useful stuff

photo of super messy closet

Avacado green 25 cup coffee pot, Tupperware, 15-year-old clothes (that might fit)?  Will you use it again?  It’s way too easy to convince yourself that you need something that was discarded.  Let’s be honest with style living standard changes are you really going to wear a 15-year-old outfit or need 30 pieces of Tupperware?

Moving is the best time to donate mismatched towels, mugs, pots, pans, and never used stuff.  We all have excess sitting around and while I think following Marie Kondo may be hard for any of us- she has some very useful tips.

Personally, I found that a stack for “yes” and a stack for ‘no” is more effective than adding a stack for “maybe”.  The odds are too high that most of our “stuff” will end up in the maybe pile- we’re only human.

Downsizing/resizing is genuinely an emotional process. Discovering forgotten things from the past can be fun and sad at the same time.  Don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Sometimes a neutral party can provide insight aiding you with your keep or toss decision.

Check with your Realtor® for local resources to help you with the process.