Thinking of Downsizing? Create a plan.

Certain challenges come with downsizing, but that doesn’t mean it has to be more stressful. By changing the way you approach it, the experience actually can be a positive one. Downsizing gives you the freedom to get rid of things that no longer have a place in your life, freeing up room for what you love and what brings you happiness. Here are some tips to help keep your sanity.

Take inventory of what you own

It is easy to feel like we don’t have a lot of “things” when those items all have a place in your current home, but many of those items may be just filler. Taking an inventory of what you have will force you to look at a list of all you own, helping you reflect on what you actually care about keeping. Using this inventory as a master sheet also will help you keep track of what you really want to keep – then you can decide on how to get rid of items you no longer love or need.

Think of your new home

Visualizing where you are moving always tends to sound stressful, but trying to downsize also can seem daunting. Imagining where items will go can be extremely helpful when downsizing. Will that old dresser fit in the guest bedroom? Will you have room for that pool table? If you can’t find space for it when looking at your new space, it is probably time to donate or recycle those items. Maybe you are changing your lifestyle or just want new décor. Now would be the time to make those decisions as your old things may not fit the way you want the new place to look.

Consider the details

Are you moving to a different climate? If you’re heading to Florida or somewhere known for the weather, you may not need those full boxes of winter gear or that snow blower already collecting dust in the garage. Will the items you are on the fence about be practical and useful in your new home when your situation changes? Once you realize you will not use it, it’s much easier to let it go.


Designate a room in your house for each category. Boxes in the living room are ‘keep,’ the dining room has your ‘donate’ items, and so on. This way, there will be no mix up and you will have a visual idea of what you are hanging onto and what you are letting go. Once your pile is considerable, move forward with your plan – donate to your cause, make a trip to the dump or pack it so you can move it. This alleviates the stress and helps you make your move much easier.