The Home Downsizing Checklist: How to do it Right

Preparing for a big move in the near future? While packing is an important part of your moving prep, it is equally as important to start downsizing before your relocation. Consider the following checklist to help you with this paring down process.

1. Make Your Biggest Decisions First

Downsizing can become incredibly overwhelming. Keep the stress at bay by making your biggest downsizing decisions first. Going through a series of questions to help you make decisions about the largest items in your home, you’ll have a plan of attack when it comes to downsizing.

Consider the following questions:

  • Will you have a washer and dryer set in the new place?
  • Will you have a fridge at the new location?
  • Will moving your appliances be cost-effective?
  • Do you want to keep each piece of furniture or buy new sets after you move?

The questions above are the type that you must ask yourself when trying to downsize before a move.

Staying organized through the entire process is essential if you want to have a smooth and pain-free transition. Look for resources online to keep yourself organized and to ensure you haven’t overlooked any important steps. For example, Suddath offers a moving checklist specially made for seniors planning a move. These types of niche-specific resources can be invaluable when planning a life-altering move like downsizing.

2. Decide What to Donate, Sell, and Throw Away

Once you have a better idea of what you can and can’t take with you, it’s time to figure out where all of your left behind belongings will go. Start setting these items aside in piles to donate, sell, and throw away. This will help you make a major step forward as you declutter your home.

The following tips will help you sort through your belongings:

  • Giveaways: These items are designated to go to certain family or friends that will be able to use them.
  • Donations: Once you’ve pinpointed what items you want to give away if you can’t find any friends or family to take them, find a local Salvation Army or Goodwill to donate your belongings to.
  • Trash: Part of downsizing means getting rid of items that are of no use to anyone. Plan to drop these items off at the dump or schedule a trash pickup after everything has been sorted.

Though this process of getting rid of your items can be a bit stressful, it’s a part of the downsizing process.

3. Pick Furniture Based on Space

If you’re focused on downsizing because you’re moving to a new place that is smaller, you’ll want to keep the amount of space you’ll have in your new home in mind as you measure the new space against the size of your furniture. Based on your findings, you’ll have to pick and choose what will go with you.

Get through this selection process by focusing on furniture that you won’t be able to live without. Start with essentials like beds, desks, or certain antique furniture with sentimental value and work out from there.  The quickest way to make a small home feel even smaller is by cluttering every room.

Simplicity will be your friend when decorating your new space. That wrap-around 10-seat sofa may need to be replaced by a love seat and recliner if your new living room has space at a premium.  

4. Choose Your Kitchen Essentials

Many people that have lived in their apartment or home for several years find that their kitchen is filled to excess with cutlery, dishes, glassware, and the like. While it is nice to have so many options, you won’t need to bring all of these things with you to your new place. As you look through your kitchen, find items that you use in your daily life. These are the staples you should carry with you to your new home.

Anything that hasn’t left the drawer or cabinet in over a year should be viewed as expendable. Again, clutter will make a smaller kitchen appear messy and congested. Freeing up countertop space will maximize the perceived size of your new cooking area.

Downsizing is often an essential part of moving on to the next chapter of your life. Keep this checklist in mind as you begin your downsizing process prior to moving to a new home to ensure a smooth and perhaps enjoyable experience.