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How To Downsize When Moving Into a New Home

ThuMay 23, 2024

Moving into a new space can often be a stressful, hectic, and overwhelming process. This stress can only be compounded if your current space is cluttered with excessive old belongings. You might wonder if your new space will have enough storage to accommodate those belongings, or how to accommodate them at all. 

Before moving into a new home, you might be wondering how to downsize and minimize the belongings in your current home. It might feel difficult for you to discard and declutter these items in your home, particularly if they’re items of personal significance.

However, you can also view this as an opportunity to start over and start fresh. While downsizing might require you to let go of certain familiar comforts, it can also allow you to make more space for new comforts. Moving into a property with less space is also less stressful to maintain.

Are you weighing the pros and cons of downsizing before your next move? While it may require you to let go of some valuables, we’d encourage you to look at the silver linings. We’d also encourage you to consider the following tips, and to consider calling one of the best moving companies in Montreal!

Moving Tips: How Homeowners Can Downsize Their New Space

Before discarding and decluttering your personal belongings ahead of a move, you’ll need to take stock of those belongings. These include the belongings you need as well as the ones you don’t. Take inventory of each item in each room, including:

  • Your furniture items and tables
  • Your appliances and electronics
  • Your dishes, cutlery, & kitchenware
  • Your clothes, linens, and laundry
  • Your decorations and ornaments
  • Anything and everything!

As you begin to take stock of these items and think about how to downsize, consider the following five questions.

1. How Many Sentimental Items Will You Need To Move With You?

As you take inventory of the items in your house, consider how much you truly “need” them. Itemize and categorize these items accordingly, and try to weed out any redundant or overstocked duplicate items. For example, do you have multiple sets of a similar shirt or multiple sets of blankets? You could probably stand to get rid of at least a few of them.

Furthermore, consider how often you’re using these items. Vice versa, think about how often you’re not using them. If you’re not frequently using an item in your current home, then you probably aren’t going to be using it much in your new home.

Once you’ve taken stock of the items you need and don’t need, you can sort them into three categories:

  • Items to keep: These items should still be useful, be in relatively good condition, and have meaningful personal utility.
  • Items to sell or donate: These could include duplicate items, clothes that don’t fit, or items in good condition that no longer have personal value.
  • Items to get rid of: These items should be items that you no longer need to use and that are no longer in good condition to use or give away.

The items in that first category will be the only items coming with you when downsizing to a smaller home. But before you move, you’ll need to consider more questions. Once you’ve weeded out the items worth getting rid of, you’ll need to figure out the best logistics to get rid of them.

2. How Can You Most Effectively & Efficiently Get Rid of the Items You Don’t Need?

Donating to charity is an excellent way to downsize before your move. You won’t just be helping yourself, but also individuals in need. You can drop off old clothes or belongings at charity spots; conversely, some charities (like Goodwill) will stop by your house to pick them up. It could also be worthwhile to consider donating to friends or family members in need. 

While you won’t stand to materially gain from ridding your items this way, you might receive a tax-deductible receipt for it. At the end of the day, nobody can put a price tag on the value of charitable generosity. But what about selling items, should you need more cash on hand for your move?

You could put on a yard sale to sell off those unwanted items. Better yet, you could explicitly advertise it as a moving estate sale. This could attract more attention from your current community before you move into a new one.

If a local yard sale won’t cut it, you may have more success online. Consider listing the unwanted items on user-driven markets, like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. These platforms can help you reach buyers outside of your immediate province.

Whether you choose to sell or donate when downsizing, you can rest assured that your items will find a new home. 

3. How Much Space Will You Need, Room by Room?

Before moving into a new home, you’ll want to discern how much space your new place has to spare so you can consider exactly how to downsize. Beyond arranging a tour of your new place, it will be wise to get a feel for its overall layout and gather some more specific details about the floor plan. 

  • Measuring before buying new furniture: Get a feel for the dimensions of each room to precisely determine how your furniture will fit.
  • Outlining your layout: Pen and paper can provide additional points of reference for your home, by visualizing where and how to place belongings.
  • Keeping an open mind: If you need to adapt your belongings to new premises, don’t be afraid to adapt your layout to accommodate them! 

Of course, you won’t have the best idea of your new home’s layout until you have moved in. But that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise due diligence in preparing to downsize for that layout. Before you move your items into a storage unit and van, you’ll want to be sure they’re worth taking with you.

You don’t want to invest in self-storage if you aren’t sure that your new space won’t accommodate everything in storage. Even if your new home has enough storage space for those items, you’ll still want to leave some open space for new items. You’ll also want to carefully categorize those items, as you incrementally move them from Point A to Point B.

4. How Can I Most Effectively Organize & Categorize My Belongings?

Pen and paper are two simple but amazingly effective tools for organizing your items. Writing out a list or a plan can give you a more concrete frame of reference for categorizing your belongings. You can lump them into one of the three aforementioned categories, and go a step further by categorizing items by room.

For example, your cutlery and cooking supplies could be filed under “kitchen items” on the itinerary. If you have an extensive collection of tools and gardening supplies, then those will probably fall under items kept in your future garage or shed. Consolidating your overwhelmingly large collection of items into smaller categories can take significant stress out of downsizing.

5. How Can I Save Money (& Time) When Downsizing?

Finally, beyond planning for how to downsize, you must choose to plan early. Budgeting your time during a move is just as important as budgeting money. If you have the luxury of planning months in advance, it can allow you to approach downsizing at your own pace, on your terms. 

Just as we’ve covered in the prior section, you’ll want to be sure your self-storage options are worth investing in. Why spend the money on a unit to store items that you won’t be using?

Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto offer some of the best places to live in Canada.  But the best place to live is only what you make of it! Planning to downsize early can give you more time to make the best of your new home. Planning and preparation for downsizing is easier the sooner you’re able to start on it.

Why Downsizing Is Important

The fewer items you’re moving with, the less you’ll have to stress about your move. There’ll be less to pack, less to organize, and less stuff to take up space! By doing away with old belongings, you’ll have more space for new items, as well as these key benefits:

  • Simpler living is simpler to manage: A less cluttered space means less difficult daily routines!
  • Easier access to personal essentials: Important heirlooms, paperwork, and possessions will be easier to find in a less cluttered home.
  • Guarantee your space accommodates your stuff: Letting go of older possessions means more space for new ones.

Downsizing can do wonders for your fresh start! If you don’t know where to start, we can lead the way.

Downsizing Montreal Homeowners Can Count On Discount Moving!

Still scratching your head, wondering how to downsize? Wondering where to even begin to plan to move long-distance with your children or loved ones?

We’ve been happy to help countless homeowners begin their fresh start. To begin yours, call Discount Moving today at 514-933-3555!