Downsizing: What to Do With All Your Stuff?

October 16, 2020

There comes a point in peoples’ lives where they decide that they don’t need the big home they are living in anymore. Of course, there are many different reasons for that. Kids moved away to college, you want to pay less for a home, you’re overwhelmed with the maintenance, etc. Despite the reason, there is one big question people need to answer when they decide they are going to make that move into a small property: What am I going to do with all of my stuff? The bigger the home, the more things we generally want to get to fill it with. However, when you downsize, you likely are going to need to get rid of some things to fit in your new home. Here are some tips on what to do with your stuff when you downsize

Decide What Matters Most

Just because we own certain items, doesn’t necessarily mean they are important to us. As we said before, it’s human nature to collect things over time especially if we have a larger home because we feel the need to fill it with things. When you downsize you are forced to only keep the important things because let’s face it, not everything you own will comfortably fit in your new home. Take a look at the things you have and decide if they are worth keeping, then follow these next steps.

Keep, Sell, Donate

When you have decided what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of, you will need to separate them into different piles. The things you want to keep, pack them up and label them for your move so you can easily locate them at your new home. For the stuff you no longer want you will need to decide if they are worth selling or if you should donate them. Making money on items you’ve purchased in the past but want to sell now is a nice way to go into your new home with a little extra cash on hand. However, you may not have time to sell everything before you move so you may have to donate a lot of items. Of course, there may be items you can’t sell and may not be able to donate, so you may have to toss some of your things you want to get rid of.

Give Yourself Time

When you get closer, say a month, to your move it may be too late to properly declutter. It will certainly make it hard to sell items you decide to part with. If you know you are planning to start your home search, it may already be a good time to start decluttering, so you aren’t scrambling to get rid of stuff right before your move. Giving yourself a 90-day time before you move to get your items sorted is a good rule of thumb to follow to give yourself plenty of time.

Last Resort

If your home buying process moves quicker than expected and you weren’t able to find the time to sort through all of your things properly, you could rent a storage unit to hold items you aren’t sure what to do with quite yet. There’s certainly nothing wrong with renting a storage unit to hold excess items, but if your goal was to downsize to save money, renting a storage unit could counteract that. Also, when things are out of sight, they are often out of mind so it’s common for storage units to just hold stuff that we may not even miss in the first place.

When you downsize, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all of the things you love. It’s just a great time to reevaluate the items that matter most to us. It also pushes us to be more minimalistic. You may find that you can live with a lot less than you currently have.

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