9 Tips for Downsizing Your Home Before a Move

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Downsizing your home before a move is an opportunity to declutter and a practical approach to simplifying your transition to a new city and home. Reducing your belongings can lower moving costs, streamline your packing process, and help you adapt quickly to a smaller or different space.

This article offers nine practical tips for efficiently downsizing your home before a move, ensuring a smoother and more cost-effective relocation.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you start sorting through your possessions, clearly defining why you’re downsizing is essential. Are you moving to a smaller home to reduce living expenses, or are you aiming for a simpler lifestyle that’s easier to manage?

Understanding your motivations will help shape your downsizing strategy, making it easier to decide what fits into your new life and what doesn’t. Remember these goals for each item, ensuring that your final selections align with your future objectives.

2. Select a Reliable Moving Company

Whether moving in the same city or planning an intra-state move, choosing the right movers is crucial to ensuring a smooth process. Hiring reputable in-state movers to handle your belongings with care and efficiency is essential. Professional movers are known for their expertise in local moves and offer tailored services to meet specific downsizing needs. They can provide valuable advice on packing and preparing for the move, ensuring that everything from your most oversized furniture to your most delicate items is transported safely to your new home.

3. Create a Detailed Inventory

Start your downsizing process by creating a detailed inventory of all your belongings. Organise items by room and category, such as furniture, electronics, kitchenware, and personal items. This list will be crucial for tracking what you have and making informed decisions about what to keep. As you catalogue each item, consider its importance and usage, which will be invaluable in helping you prioritise and identify things that are no longer needed or wanted.

This step also helps you visualize the amount of stuff you have, which can often motivate you to downsize more aggressively.

4. Apply the One-Year Rule

A practical way to decide what stays and what goes is to apply the one-year rule: if you haven’t used something in the past year, you will likely not use it. This rule is especially effective for items that are not season-dependent. This guideline assesses clothing, kitchen gadgets, books, and other miscellaneous items. It helps to keep the decision-making process objective and straightforward, reducing the emotional difficulty of parting with possessions that have accumulated over the years but do not add value to your daily life.

5. Measure Your New Space

Please obtain the floor plan or visit your new home to measure the rooms. Understanding the size and layout of your new space is crucial for deciding which pieces of furniture and large appliances will fit. Sketch a rough floor plan and arrange your furniture to see what works. This exercise can prevent the mistake of moving large items only to find out they don’t fit or overwhelm the space.

Measuring in advance also helps you mentally prepare for the scale of your new environment, aiding in the emotional transition to a smaller or differently configured space.

6. Digitize Paperwork and Photos

Reducing physical clutter by digitising essential documents and photos is an effective strategy in the digital age. Use a scanner or a scanning app on your smartphone to convert physical copies of essential documents, old photos, and even cherished children’s artwork into digital files. This saves space and secures and preserves your memories and records more effectively than paper could.

By digitising, you also simplify your life, making searching and accessing these items easier when needed. Consider backing up these digital files on an external hard drive or a cloud service for added security.

7. Sell or Donate Items

Once you’ve sorted your possessions and decided what you no longer need, it’s time to sell or donate these items. Organising a garage sale or listing items on online marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist can turn unwanted goods into extra cash that might help cover moving expenses or fund new purchases for your downsized home. Alternatively, donating items to charity shops or community centres can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial to those in need.

This step helps you declutter and contributes to a sustainable reuse cycle, reducing waste and helping the community.

8. Plan a Phased Approach

Approach the downsizing process in manageable phases to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Start with less sentimental items, more accessible to sort through, and gradually move towards more personal or sentimental items. This phased approach allows you to build confidence and decision-making skills as you progress. For example, begin with kitchenware and books and then move on to personal keepsakes and clothes.

Breaking the task into smaller, more manageable steps ensures the process is thorough and less stressful.

9. Revisit Stored Items

Finally, revisit any items you’ve decided to put in storage. Things out of sight often remain out of mind and may not be as necessary as you once thought. Evaluate whether these stored items should be moved to your new home, sold, or donated. This step is crucial because it prevents merely transferring clutter from one place to another, ensuring your new home remains a streamlined and functional space.


Downsizing your home before a move is a significant project that can lead to a more simplified and enjoyable lifestyle in your new space. By following these tips, you can ensure that every item in your new home serves a purpose and contributes to an environment that reflects your current needs and style.

Effective downsizing is not just about getting rid of things—it’s about making room for new experiences and opportunities. Employing the right movers can also ease the logistical aspects of your move, allowing you to focus on settling into your new, decluttered home. So, look at downsizing as an opportunity for renewal and transformation, setting the stage for this exciting new chapter of your life.

Ref: 3792.33200-71167
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