The desire to downsize before a move is common, but being successful at eliminating unneeded items is not easily accomplished. Too often, we are compelled to hold onto more than we need or will use, and with some changes of address, downsizing is vital because the new dwelling is smaller.
No matter what the motivation is for wanting to move with fewer possessions, the following guide provides an excellent starting point. Expect the following to properly influence better decision-making when it comes to the Herculean task of sorting through accumulation in the home.
Begin With the Right Mindset
Before anyone can successfully downsize, the benefits of doing so must be recognized. The biggest benefit to owning less is having less to transport and manage once moved. Everyone who lessens their load feels freer and organized after doing so. Cleansing one’s life with unused possessions makes moving considerably less stressful.
Not everyone has time on their side prior to relocating, but those who know months in advance should begin sorting as soon as possible. Even those who outsource packing tasks to their preferred moving company find advance planning highly beneficial so that only prudent possessions make their way to the new place.
In months leading up to officially packing, paperwork can be assessed. There is no reason to save utility bills for longer than three years, and dated magazines and obsolete manuals should be recycled. Off-season clothing can be packed early, but do not box clothing until you have assessed what you still truly need.
Another important consideration during the lead-up to moving is shopping habits. Do not stock up on canned goods and the like at the current residence. Replacing furniture before being able to measure the new spaces can lead to poor purchases. Ahead of shopping for a different home, you should determine how your current belongings fit in first.
Follow the 12-Month Rule
Professional organizers tout the merits of tossing anything that has not been used in 12 months. This is not always a perfect benchmark, but it applies to many things and should be kept in mind when looking at clothing and kitchen gadgets. It must be followed when sorting anything that expires. Untouched cleaning supplies and toiletries that have been holding court in cabinets for over a year must be given the boot.
Duplicate items should be split up. Most objects that people own duplicates are unnecessary and only take up space without serving a purpose. Too often, we accumulate too many linens, books, and clothes. Being realistic about needs versus wants is key. If making choices proves difficult, it is okay to dedicate a “maybe” pile to give yourself additional time to decide.
Evaluating Packed Boxes
Here is where tough love comes into play! Sure, there are sentimental keepsakes that might remain packed between moves, but if you have boxes of general use items that have remained untouched since your last move, it is time to purge. If you have not found the urge to unpack a box, chances are, you will not miss the contents in your next abode.
Parents who are storing things for their adult children ought to make decisions when evaluating boxes packed with childhood mementos. Especially when journeying to a smaller place, older adults should allow their kids to determine what they seek to keep and bring to their own residence if at all possible.
Change is hard, and moving is stressful. Discarding excess is one way to prime yourself to triumph during the relocation process. Once you are armed with only what you will utilize in the future, your trusted movers will transport your worldly goods to your next address to allow you to begin your upcoming chapter in life with the true feeling of a fresh start.