Moving to a smaller home, whether an apartment, condo, or retirement community, often requires a bit more work than moving to a comparably sized home. You will probably not have room for all of your possessions in your new place. Decisions about what to keep and what to discard or donate can add to an already stressful situation. Before you make any of those decisions, check out these helpful tips for downsizing your home.

Not Just for Seniors

We typically think of downsizing as something senior citizens need to do when it is time to move to a retirement community. However, according to Zillow, 46% of baby boomers who sold their homes in 2017 were downsizing. In addition, 12% of homebuyers between the ages of 45 and 64 were also downsizing.

People are deciding to streamline their lives and declutter their lives in record numbers. The decision to downsize could come as the result of retirement, becoming an empty nester, divorce, or just wanting to be more financially sound in a more affordable space.

Planning Reduces Stress

Throughout the entire moving process, you can reduce your stress level by planning. The same applies to downsizing. Rather than just randomly looking through drawers or making decisions about furniture, consider the space in your new home and how much room you will truly have.

Start planning as soon as possible in the process. Even if you haven’t found the perfect new home yet, you may know that you want to move from a 4-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment, so something will have to go. Put your plan in writing. Review it more than once as you are considering which items to keep and which you cannot take to your new home.

Cherish the Memories

Before you begin the process of downsizing, take photos of your current home. It may help you in the decluttering process as you will always have your photos and your memories. In addition, you can use the photos to decide which items mean the most to you.

Focus on the Basics First

Thinking about your whole house at once can be overwhelming. Break it down into segments, focusing on your primary rooms, such as your family room, bedroom, and kitchen. Take an objective look at the items in each room, going from room to room. Get out your written plan and add to it as you review your possessions.

Decide What You Really Want and Need

Some things you’ll need to keep because they have a purpose in your life. Obvious items such as your bed, dresser, and kitchen table, for example, are necessary for your everyday living. Other things you’ll want to keep because they hold a special place in your heart. You may want to keep your children’s or grandchildren’s handmade Christmas presents or birthday gifts.

Ask the Right Questions

Questions that are recommended for seniors and their families also apply to anyone who is downsizing and trying to decide what to keep and what should go. Include the answers to the following in your written plan:

  • Is the furniture, antique, clothing, dishes, or other item necessary?
  • Do you really want it?
  • Do you own multiples of this item? (For example, do you have three frying pans that are virtually identical?)
  • Do you use the item regularly?
  • Is there sentimental value attached to the item?
  • Is the item of significant financial value?
  • Will your item fit into the smaller space to which you are moving?
  • Do you have a family member or friend who wants or needs the item?

When to Give It Away, When to Discard It

Does your family want certain treasures? Are there family heirlooms that are ready to be passed on? Are there items that just don’t really mean anything to anyone at this point?

If family members do not want your items and they are still in good condition, consider donating to a nonprofit in the Chattanooga area. There are a number of organizations that provide clothing and household items for free or at a very low price for those in need.

Need to Store Items?

After you have sorted through and downsized as much as you can, you may still have items that you want to keep but cannot put in your new home. Fox Moving and Storage Chattanooga is here to help, with climate-controlled storage space and a secure warehouse that is the perfect fit for large and small storage solutions. We will pick up your items, make a detailed inventory, and quilt pad your belongings, so they’ll remain safe and secure.

Call Fox Moving & Storage Chattanooga When You Need Help with Your Treasured Items

Our professional movers are ready to help you move to your new home and to store the possessions you want to keep. Call us at 423.451.8584 for a free, no-obligation quote!