How to Downsize

Without Getting Overwhelmed

When it comes to making big changes like downsizing your life for retirement, there are a number of emotions you might feel. At its core, downsizing is often a stressful and tolling task both physically and emotionally. But it does not have to be overwhelming. The trick to tackling this massive undertaking is to divide the task into manageable bits. To help you get started, we offer a guide on how to downsize without getting overwhelmed.

How to Downsize

Tips for Moving & Decluttering (to Downsize)

  1. Planning Stage (Reduce Stress):

    • Create A Plan: without a plan you lack direction, so plan your work and work your plan!
    • Make a List: make a list of every room that needs work and things you’ll need to keep.
    • Plan Ahead: consider paring down furniture, clothing, papers, books, kitchen items, décor, holiday decorations and so on.
    • Planning New Space: if you know what size place you are moving to, plan for it.
    • Schedule Time: decluttering your home will take time, so set a schedule for when you will work on the decluttering process.
  1. Organizing & Decluttering Stage (Make Decisions):

    • Separate Items into Categories: keep, donate, sell and toss (start with larger items first like furniture and make your way down to smaller items like documents, keepsakes and so on).
    • Decide What You’ll Keep or Sell: make an inventory of what is sellable and what you’ll need to keep.
    • Decide What You’ll Donate or Toss: donating to places like the Goodwill will give you a small tax credit and purging what you don’t need will give you space.
    • Create Labels & Take Notes: do not forget to label things for their new destination as you sort through them.
  1. Packing, Selling & Disposing Stage (Start Purging):

    • Pack Items: into labeled boxes, and keep a running inventory list of what the boxes contain and the rooms they belong in.
    • Sell Your Stuff: whether you are selling your items the traditional way or at an auction, plan your strategy ahead of time.
    • Dispose of things Properly: designate a person to make a donation run, take things to the dump and keep a running list of items you’re giving away.
  1. Storage & Moving Stage (A New Beginning):

    • Take Things to Storage: if you can’t find a way to get down to the level you need rent a storage unit for the overflow. 
    • Streamline Your Move: change your address, arrange a change in utility providers, and get prescriptions refilled in advance.
    • Enjoy the New YOU: whether you are moving across country or across town, the key to downsizing is surrounding yourself with the things in your life that bring you the most happiness.
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