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February 18, 2020

7 Steps to a More Relaxed Downsizing Move

Whether you are an empty-nester looking for a smaller place to call home so you can spend more time on the road with your partner or thinking you want to give tiny house living a try, here are some simple steps to make your downsizing move stressful.

Make an inventory of what you own. Two irons? Maybe one will do. Christmas decorations? Perhaps one wreath and a small tree will suffice. If you haven’t already done a detailed inventory for your home insurance policy, now is an excellent time to take stock of all you own. As you are making a list, you’ll start to get a better idea of what you want to keep, how you will store or use it, and as KonMari would say, “what brings you joy” and what you can live without.

Organize. Now that you know what you have, start separating it into the keep, toss, and donate categories. Donate doesn’t have to mean a charity like Goodwill or Salvation Army only. You can give items that have a special meaning to you to friends, neighbors, and family. If you opt for a charity, find one that will come pick up the items so you can save yourself extra trips to their location.

While you are sorting, consider how are you going to live now? Are you going to be traveling more? Will you be dining out more often or relaxing by the fire? What about a yard? Will you have one to maintain or can you get rid of the gardening equipment. If in doubt, leave it behind. You can replace most things if you find a need, but moving trying to organize extra items in a new space can increase stress.

Measure everything. Consider size, weight, how much life an object has left, and whether it is going to stay in style. Think about functionality as well. Maybe your empire sofa won’t be as useful as a new sleeper sofa. When you design your floor plan, make sure you are leaving plenty of room for maneuverability. Science shows that leaving clutter behind benefits your physical and mental health. Besides, who wants to pay to have something moved only to find it won’t work in the new space?

Pack smart. Experts advise packing by room, labeling boxes with the room destination and a number so you can track your inventory. Whether you do the packing or someone else does, it is best to supervise and catalog the items by container.

Give yourself time. This process will take much longer to do than you think if it is done well. Two to three months is a fair amount of time, and it gives you a chance to reconsider the “take” items should they start looking like too much. Don’t rush, and take pictures of any sentimental items that may be hard to part with. These images can be stored in the cloud and revisited anytime you are feeling nostalgic.

Be sure to let your insurance provider know early on that you are moving so he can let you know if there are any gaps or considerations of which you should be aware. Once you have finalized your “take” list, give that to your insurance provider for safekeeping and to be sure you have the right personal property coverage.