Top 10 Tips For Down-Sizing

January 19, 2018

Whether you’re an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio, you’ll have to say “so long” to some of your stuff. When I moved out of my beloved 3-bedroom bungalow, I was stressed. But I decided that it was a new chapter of my life, a new adventure and decided that if I had not looked at, or used things within the past 2 years I would give it away or throw it away. And I did it slowly as well – I didn’t feel rushed at all. One of the things I knew I could not live without were my photos. Did I stop to organize them? Absolutely not – why? Because I would get wrapped up in the memories. So I decided to take them with me just as they were (in a box) and deal with them once I had moved into my new place.

  1. Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before the move. Just take some time in the morning to go through that jammed coat closet or overloaded filing cabinet. I decided to do each task for at least 30 minutes at a time and then walk away and take a break.
  2. Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home.For instance, your living-room-to-be might be about the same size as your bedroom. Be realistic – if you have 2 sofas in your living room – you certainly won’t be able to get them both in your living room – you only had a queen-size bed in your bedroom. So be very aware of the measurements of each room.
  3. Seriously edit areas with items that don’t have much sentimental value.Quite obviously you don’t need 10 mixing bowls or 3 spatulas. So decide which ones you want and put the others in a box to go to a charity like The Salvation Army or Value Village. I
  4. Do you really need all that stuff in the garage? The answer is no if you are downsizing from a house to a condo. Snow shovels, the lawn mower, ladders – you won’t need any of them, so let your neighbours, friends, family know they are up for grabs.
  5. Don’t throw anything in the garbage.Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. As tempting and easy as it is to pitch wire hangers, musty clothes and shabby furnishings, be environmentally responsible and find a home for everything. A can of Comet with a few shakes of powder left could make someone else’s sink sparkle if you don’t want it; consider giving supplies to a shelter, neighbour or cleaning lady.
  6. Label three bins to keep, to sell and to give to charity (remember you should be able to lift the bins when full). For the average downsize, keep only one-third to one-half of your belongings.
  7.  Get an objective opinion.If you can’t decide whether to keep or kiss that dusty ’70s-era sewing machine goodbye, Sarah says, “It’s good to have someone who’ll say, ‘Oh, please, you never use that!'” It might just be the kick you need.
  8. When selling your goods, try an auction for high-end items.Then look for reputable antique and secondhand dealers. Often, they can buy all of your wares or put you in touch with booksellers and other specialty dealers. “Some dealers will come to your home, take what you don’t want and even drop off the charity stuff,” Sarah says. “That way you won’t be trudging all over town.” If you can’t sell an item, donate it to a shelter.
  9. Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check. To start, draw plans if you don’t have any, and sketch in a furniture layout. Then look at the plans realistically; if you’ve crammed in side tables, armoires and chairs, you need to edit more. Don’t wait until after you move to contend with furniture you’ll just end up tripping over.
  10. Once you get to the packing stage, use a colour-coded system to organize all of your boxes. Choose a colour for each room and mark the boxes destined for that room with a coordinating colour sticker. You can also do the same thing numerically; for example, if room No. 1 is the kitchen, then all boxes marked No. 1 will go there. A simple and efficient organizing idea to make the move that much easier!