Downsizing your home for a move or simply to reduce clutter can become a huge undertaking. At any given time, the average American home contains roughly 300,000 things. In some households, the number of possessions could be much higher. Without making any changes, clutter can take over the home, making each day an unending quest to put everything back in its place. This becomes especially difficult when some items don’t even have a dedicated place. Consider these downsizing tips to help you prepare to move or merely to downsize and declutter.

minimalist office after downsizing

How to Downsize

Moving into an apartment or condo may require some tact as you sort through your possessions in preparation for your move. You can take a similar approach when transitioning into a retirement community. Here are some tips on downsizing to an apartment and downsizing for retirement to help you clear away the clutter.

  • Familiarize yourself with the size and specifications of your new place.

    Discover how much of your stuff can comfortably come with you when you move. You can also figure out what items you may no longer need based on tenant or resident benefits of living in your new apartment or community.

  • Determine what you want to keep first and foremost.

    Prioritize these items and plan to bring them with you on your move. Pack these items in labeled boxes for your move or if you cannot pack them yet, at least make a packing list of these important things you’ll need to bring.

  • Begin the purging process.

    Critically examine your remaining possessions to identify things you can donate, sell, throw out, and recycle. Begin letting go of these things you no longer need.

boxes to recycle

  • Identify items you want to keep, but do not want to bring with you.

    You may have boxes of items you still need to go through or furniture that won’t fit in your new place when you downsize. You can safely stow your stuff in a private personal storage unit until you have more space or a more permanent plan.

  • Give your garage and shed a thorough cleanout.

    When you move to an apartment, you may not need all the lawn and garden equipment you’ve currently accumulated. As a bonus, downsizing your lawn mower and other tools may net you a little extra cash!

  • Look into home storage options that help you stay organized.

    When you move into your new place, you can make the most of existing storage first, but then add clever new storage possibilities to help stretch your available space.

  • Go through your clothing with discretion.

    Drawers and closets bursting with outfits and accessories may add a layer of difficulty to the packing and downsizing process. If you haven’t worn it in over a year, consider donating it. If it’s a favorite item with sentimental value, consider putting together a small bin for storage.

  • Consider offering high-value items to your new buyers.

    Some sellers offer to leave behind big-ticket items like pool tables, patio furniture, grills, and other items they may not want to move to their new home. Determine if this may be a good option for your downsizing process.

relaxing after downsizing

Downsizing your life will require some patience and perseverance, but the end results will be well worth it. Rely on family and friends to help you get all of the pieces in place for your downsize and move. Moving to a smaller house, apartment, or retirement community will bring you new adventures to enjoy without the stress of an overly cluttered home!