The moving process can be as exciting as it is stressful. As you plan to sell your home, the opportunity to clean house, start anew, and organize your home in a way that inspires joy shouldn’t be overlooked. But how do you determine what stays and what goes?
When you purposefully downsize, you cut down on moving expenses (and reinvigorate your home decor at the same time). Consider these tips for downsizing to make your move a lot easier:
Start with a plan
A little bit of preparation can go a long way when it comes to moving. Before you pack a single box, put a strategy for organization in place:
Make a checklist
The first step in any move should be making a checklist. This list will keep track of what needs to be done, and provide high-level transparency for the task ahead. It will ensure you don’t forget anything important.
Start with the basics when composing your checklist: clear out closets, organize the basement, declutter the garage. From there, consider the forgotten spaces in your home — the attic, spare bedrooms, living room curios, and so on.
Set aside some time to do a deep, thorough cleaning in each space — this will save you both time and stress later.
Compare wants and needs
Moving to a new space is an opportunity to take stock of improvements you can make throughout the home. Does your current home not have space for a double farmhouse sink or the infrastructure for a garbage disposal? Now is the time to identify features that are missing from your current space, so you can prioritize those amenities as part of your new home search.
Use this wishlist to guide your downsizing process as well. As you begin taking stock of what you have, consider what will be most valuable for your long-term happiness. This is especially true for young families who anticipate growth — maybe in 5 years, an in-home movie theatre won’t be as essential as a second (or third) bedroom.
Start reducing your possessions early
Moving day can sneak up on you. How can you make sure you’re prepared? The earlier you start going through closets, emptying out file cabinets, and donating old coffee mugs, the better.
When you do, think of the rooms in your new home. Consider more effective storage methods for your most valuable items — could those boxes of old photographs be preserved and displayed in photo albums?
Thoughtful organizing and planning before the moving rush will prevent you from giving away things you would otherwise wish to keep. That heirloom china cabinet from your grandmother’s house may seem like a burden now, but will you regret giving it away sometime down the road? If you take stock of your items early on in the process, you won’t make hasty decisions when things get stressful.
Once you get started
Adhere to your timeline
We’ve all had that friend who asks for help moving, then starts packing when you arrive on moving day. Don’t be that person!
Set goals for packing on a timeline and stick to your benchmarks. Start a few weeks early and set realistic targets, allowing time for the inevitable distractions — you’ll likely uncover old scrapbooks or long-forgotten gadgets during the packing process, so factor in time for examining them if you’re prone to getting sidetracked.
Start packing unessential items now
The more you do now, the less you have to do later. Seems simple, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and procrastinate.
Anything you won’t need to access between now and the move should get packed as soon as possible. Starting early and setting a steady pace distributes the labor of moving over a longer period of time, reduces stress, and minimizes the amount of physical work that you need to do when moving day arrives.
Try to sell instead of discarding
Minimize the waste you create by setting aside valuable items for sale. Host a yard sale with some friends and neighbors, or put up listings on Craigslist — you might be surprised by how much you make! The stuff that doesn’t sell can benefit others when you donate it to a non-profit organization.
Get started with a real estate agent now!
Real estate agents do so much more than hosting open houses. A full service Realtor like Laura Dandoy can help guide the selling process from start to finish. That includes guidance on how to stage your home for buyers, what to move, even advice on moving companies. That way, your move is effortless and as hands-off as possible… just the way it should be.
Get started with a real estate agent now! List your home with Laura today!
Originally published November 15, 2016. Last updated September 3, 2019.