Updated: Apr 11
Every time I move, I’m amazed at how many objects I’ve managed to accumulate. This can be even more apparent when preparing to move to a smaller home. Downsizing — when you reduce the contents of your home to move to a smaller space — can seem intimidating, but there are several ways you can make the process less daunting.
Maybe you’re transitioning to a senior living community, want to spend less energy and time on house upkeep, or are ready for a lifestyle change. Whatever the reason for the shift, downsizing can be immensely beneficial to quality of life, ease of mobility, and overall happiness and well-being.
If you’re looking for compassionate assistance at any stage of the downsizing process, Serene Transitions can help every step of the way — from planning what will fit in your new space, to decluttering, packing, managing the moving company, organizing your new home, and beyond.
If you’re looking for compassionate assistance at any stage of the downsizing process, Serene Transitions can help you every step of the way — from planning what will fit in your new space, to decluttering, packing, managing the moving company, organizing your new home, and beyond.
What will fit?
One of the first steps of downsizing is acquiring a floor plan of your next home. If you work with Serene Transitions, we will obtain the floor plan for your new living space and manipulate it so it’s to scale. We’ll measure all the furniture you’d like to take into the new space and use the floor plan to determine what will fit — and what will not.
This can be a fun part of the process! Once we have the floor plan and dimensions of your furniture, you get to play around in the scale model to see what configurations of your furniture would be the most practical and exciting in your new home. If you work with Serene Transitions, we’re happy to provide input on the best options; at the end of the day, you have the final say in what makes the cut. If you love it and/or use it and it fits in your new home, keep it!
What About the Items You Don’t Take?
Once we determine which furniture pieces will be moving into the new space with you, Serene Transitions can help you deal with the remaining items. There are several ways you can disperse and dispose of items you no longer want or need, or simply can’t move with you:
· Online auctions
Distribution, or giving items to other people in your life, can be a good option for things with sentimental value. That oak dresser your grandfather built but doesn’t fit in your new home could go to your grandchild who’s moving into their first apartment; maybe that beautiful ceramic dish you keep forgetting about could get more use with your friend. Distributing or gifting an item is a win-win if the recipient needs the item and you need the space; you can rest easy knowing that your cherished piece is in a good home.
Donation is another great choice for items you don’t use or need, such as duplicates (will you really need two ladles in your new, smaller home?), items you haven’t used in over a year, items that your family doesn’t want or have space for, or other belongings that didn’t make the final downsizing cut. Because Serene Transitions is committed to giving back to the community, we would gladly take care of anything you’d like to donate free of charge — we can pack everything up, bring it to a donation center, and provide you with a tax-deductible receipt.
For most items that you’d rather sell than give away, you can use online auctions to help downsize. Serene Transitions can manage auctions for you — from the listing to the pick-up — on auction sites like MaxSold, where 98% of listings get sold. You can list individual items yourself on sites like eBay and Craigslist, or you could have a yard sale to try to get rid of more items at a lower price point, although this would require more time and effort on your part.
The bottom line when it comes to downsizing is that you’ll have less space, so you’ll need less stuff. No matter how you decide to reduce the volume of your possessions, the following tips are helpful:
· Start early. Decluttering and downsizing can take more time than we think. Give yourself as much time as possible. This allows you to pace yourself without stressing, and it also gives you time to reminisce as you sort through your belongings. Aim to start the decluttering and downsizing process at least a couple months before you’re planning to move.
· Get a floor plan. This will help you determine which big items you’re able to take with you. If you work with Serene Transitions, we’ll take care of acquiring the floor plan, manipulating it to the correct scale, and taking measurements of the furniture you’re considering moving.
· Go room by room. Once you’ve figured out the big furniture, declutter one room at a time. See our blog post on decluttering for more decluttering tips.
· Consider digitizing. Do you have a lot of photos, documents, or collections that are taking up space? Consider scanning or taking photos of them and getting rid of the hard copies. You can also take photos of items you’re planning on parting with.
· Think about your goals. It can be helpful to check in with yourself throughout the process. What are your main reasons for downsizing? What kind of energy and lifestyle are you hoping to have in your new space? The answers to these questions can guide you as you choose what to bring and with what to part.
Downsizing can be a lot of work, but it has a high pay-off. Although at first it may feel sad to part with some of your cherished belongings, it can also be liberating to release the clutter and work of maintaining a larger space. Allow yourself the time you need to make the transition to your new space a success.
If you’d like extra support, Serene Transitions can help ease downsizing stress — we’re happy to jump in at any stage of the process and make sure your transition to your new home is positive and stress-free. Reach out to us for more information or to chat about your downsizing needs!