Whether you’re trying to save up money to move into your dream home, or you’re looking to travel the world as soon as you have the budget, there are plenty of great reasons to downsize where you live. However, it can be something of a challenge, as well. Here, we’re going to look at some of the tips that can help you get through it while staying organised and avoiding the mistakes that others have made in the past.
Ensure that you want to do it
First of all, before you start to downsize, you should think about why, exactly, you are doing it, and what drawbacks you should keep in mind. There are plenty of good reasons to downsize, of course. It can help you save money by living in a small space, it can make your home much easier to keep organised and clean, and it can help you live a clutter-free life, all of which can be great for your emotional and mental well-being. Think about your goals as well as how you’re going to cope with living in a smaller space before you commit to it.
Start planning for it as soon as you can
If you have it in your mind to start downsizing, then you should be starting to prepare for it right now, rather than trying to do it all at once. First of all, you can get into the “downsizing mindset,” ensuring that you’re not picking up any unnecessary clutter while also starting to consider how you’re going to be getting rid of some of the chunkiest possessions, whether permanently or temporarily. Start by going through all of your possessions and, one by one, writing them down and thinking about whether or not you want to keep them. While it’s still early, you’re allowed to have some in the “don’t know” column, but once you start seeing how many things you would be quite alright with losing, the process of actually moving them out becomes easier.
Start looking at where you can sell it all
For the items that you’re going to be getting rid of, the single best way that you can go about it is to sell what you can. Whether it’s clothes, furniture, media, decor items, or otherwise, so long as it is in a good condition, you are sure to be able to find a buyer. It’s about finding them in time before the move. You can host your items on online marketplaces, find specialised buyers for some of your hard-to-resell goods, or always host your own garage sale. Whatever the case, you should start early on selling what you definitely don’t want to bring with you.
Give what you can’t sell
If there are items that aren’t going to make it, but you can’t sell them, then you should think about the best way to make use of them, instead. Maybe they have sentimental value, if they do then give them to someone who can make use of them. If they have general use but not enough to sell, then consider donating them to a charity shop near you. Otherwise, you can look at your local recycling or repurposing options. Things like old and even broken digital technology, including phones, laptops, and PCs, can usually be taken in by tech companies so that their components and materials can be reused, for instance. Taking items to the skip should be considered the last option.
You don’t have to get rid of everything permanently
There are some items that you might not want to bring to the smaller home with you but, at the same time, you don’t want to get rid of them, entirely, either. This might be because they have some sentimental value, or because they will be more practical when you move into somewhere bigger again, or even because you want to wait for a seller who is willing to pay more for them. Either way, with the help of personal storage that you can rent, you can find a cost-effective way to keep them. If you’re downsizing for the sake of saving money, you want to get a good idea of the costs of monthly storage before you agree to anything, of course.
Pace how you pack
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to be selling or otherwise get rid of, then you should start to pack it all away, bit by bit. Get the boxes or packing materials you need (you might be able to get some from local stores that would otherwise throw them away), and go by each room, packing away the things you don’t need one by one. Be sure to label the boxes appropriately based on whether you’re going to sell them, recycle them, store them, or bring them with you to your home. Even packing away one item a day as you get closer to the move is a good way to ensure that you’re always getting closer to the eventual goal.
Be mindful of rooms you won’t have
When you’re selling items or thinking of what items to move from one room in your current home to the next room in the new one, you should think about what rooms you’re actually going to have. If you have a garage or a home office at the moment, keep in mind that you very well may not when you settle in your new space. As such, certain belongings like your office desk may up being nothing but dead weight. Start putting together plans of not only what items you’re going to keep, but where they’re going to go in the new space. If the answer is “I don’t know,” then you might want to think about whether to sell that particular item or to put it into storage until you need it.
Start thinking smart about storage
When it comes to your storage needs, we’re not just talking about the personal storage you use to hold your items for now. The storage in your new home is going to play a big role in keeping it organised and clutter-free. There are all kinds of storage tips for smaller spaces that you can follow, from making use of recessed spaces, like putting a wicker basket under the sink with some of your bath goodies, to making better use of vertical spaces, like installing magnetic strips in the kitchen instead of having a knife holder block. You need to start thinking a little more minimalist.
Get used to the idea of living in a smaller space
It can be quite a change to acclimate to, but there are a lot of people who get very used to living in smaller spaces when they have finally settled in. You just need to change how you think about things. Organisation and space management should always stay at the top of the list of priorities, while you get less tempted by material temptations such as knick-knacks you would otherwise use. Enjoy the benefits of having to clean the home a lot less often and not being as concerned with having to fill up as much space. But do expect there to be a period of transition where you might not immediately like living in a smaller space. It should pass, in time, if you don’t fixate on it.
Living in a smaller space can certainly take some getting used to but, with the tips above, hopefully, you can make the best of it. Keep in mind what your goals are and it will all be worth the extra effort it took to get through.