Downsizing Your Stuff

If you know you’re moving into a smaller home, you’re no doubt going to have to get rid of some of your possessions.  Here, we’ll take a look at how to get started on this sometimes overwhelming task.

Downsizing your stuff starts early.

Once you decide you’re going to downsize, get started, even if you haven’t signed a purchase contract yet. Start thinking about what you’ll have to get rid of somehow and what you can’t live without. Making lists can be helpful in this, especially if there’s more than one person’s stuff to consider. Otherwise, you’ll just end up keeping everything and throw it all in boxes just before the move.

Start in the attic or basement.

This is where stuff if usually stored and seldom, if ever, used. It’s easier to decide to get rid of something if you haven’t seen it or used it in a year or more. Then work your way through the bedrooms, bathrooms and the rest of the house, packing as you go. Make separate piles for items you want to sell, donate, or otherwise give away to family or friends.

Involve family.

Because each item has a different meaning to different people, you’ll want to get some input from the kids or other family members in the house. If you want to hang on to your kids favorite doll or baseball mitt to give to them later in life, make sure these are items the kids have a deep attachment to. If they don’t care, then get rid of it.

Ask yourself these questions.

When was the last time something was used? How often is it used? What purpose does it serve? What condition is it in? You’ll find a lot of things can be disposed of after answering these questions.

Visualize your new house.

Decide which furniture and other large pieces will fit. Measure them if necessary so you have an idea of which furniture will go where.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

If it’s going to break your heart to part with something, then don’t. Keep a few of your treasures to help make you feel at home in your new place.


Ian Thompson at RE/MAX of Nanaimo specializes in downsizing, so when you’re ready to make the leap, give him a call at (250) 751-1223.