The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing

Are you looking to downsize your home but you’re not sure where to start? We’ve created this helpful guide full of successful downsizing strategies to keep you focused and organized. 

Here at The Junkluggers, we specialize in downsize and declutter projects and we’re here to offer our services to help you discard the items you’ve decided you no longer need. Give us a call, and be greeted with top-notch customer service that often offers same or next-day appointments! 

View the Ultimate Downsizing Checklist Woman with moving boxes

Questions to Prepare for a Move or Downsize

When moving, you can understand your new space by asking all the right questions. It will become easier to make decisions about what to keep and what to donate! Your new space should represent you but also feel like a fresh start. Be sure to keep the following things in mind when moving: 

How many bedrooms will you have? 

If you currently have three bedrooms that act as your room, a guest room, and an office but your new space will only leave you with two bedrooms, you should consider what room you would like to downsize. If you would rather keep your office and not the guest bedroom, then it becomes the perfect opportunity to get rid of the bulky guest bedroom furniture that you’ll no longer need. Furniture and mattress removal just happens to be our specialty.

What is the square footage? 

Optimizing your space is important when moving. If your new space is smaller than your current one, it may benefit you to keep your shelving and storage for your books or knick-knacks. Additionally, you might want to consider swapping out your large sectional, 8 person dining room table, or other large furniture for smaller items that suit both you and your space better. 

Is there any built-in storage?

When looking at your next new space, be mindful of the storage that comes with it. If you have limited kitchen storage but a large bedroom closet, consider what types of items you’ll need to trim down. Storage will become a key factor in downsizing 

Do you have any extra space? 

Having a garage, shed, attic, or any additional space will play an important part when deciding what will go and what will stay. If you currently have a garage that you keep all your outdoor stuff in, but no garage in your new place, you might consider sifting through equipment to determine if you’ve used it recently or if you’ll use it soon in the future. 

Top 7 Downsizing & Decluttering Tips 

1. Create a timeline

A helpful way to stay on task and organized is to create a timeline of when you would like to be done and important milestones that may guide you on your way. Mark when you want certain areas of the house to be decluttered and when you would like the stuff you no longer need either donated or thrown away. For example, if you choose to downsize your closet in one month, here’s how you can set timely goals for each week.

Week 1:
    • Sort through all outside spaces (garage, shed, etc)
    • Try on all clothes and donate 25%
    • Create your 3 piles of keep, throw away and donate
Week 2:
    • Get rid of duplicates in kitchen (spatulas, ladles, etc)
    • Eliminate old and stained sheets, pillow cases, and expired products
    • Schedule an appointment with The Junkluggers to remove bulky items, donations, and furniture
Week 3:
    • Throw away or scan old paperwork, school projects, and other paper items
    • Pack items for new house
Week 4:
    • Removal of bulky items, donations, furniture
    • Moving day

2. What to keep, what to toss

If you’re having trouble looking through things and throwing them away, do the 6 and 3 rule. If you haven’t used the item in the last 6 months and won't use it in the next 3 months, discard it or donate it. This excludes seasonal things such as a lawnmower or winter jackets, unless you’re moving into a place that does not have a yard or winter! Have sorting boxes or piles that designate what will be donated, what will be thrown away, and then pack the rest of what you’re choosing to keep.

Woman with binoculars

3. Go through expired products

Expired products in the bathroom, kitchen, or hallway closet will always take up unwanted space in your new home! Sort through lotions, cleaning products, spices, facial products, and other items. You must remember you cannot donate these products if they are expired or open, and it’s best to responsibly dispose of them.

4. Start in lesser-used places

Don’t forget about spaces that you don’t see or use every day! Your garage, attic, and storage shed can accumulate things quickly and be forgotten just as fast. If you have storage bins of sporting goods that haven’t been used in years, it’s time to donate.

Pro Tip: Momentos from old school projects might be hard to get rid of but a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to only save one or two things from each collection or year.

5. Sort through furniture and large items

We all have that piece of furniture that is rarely used and takes up space. Is it an entryway table that collects old mail and paperwork? A hutch that holds nothing more than a vase? You may even consider getting rid of the guest bed that has only been used once or twice. Whatever it may be, finding the pieces of furniture that you don’t use or will no longer need is a great way to freshen your space and declutter your home.

6. Refresh your kitchen space

The kitchen can be one of the most difficult areas to declutter as you can almost always find a reason to keep something. However, this can also be a golden area to get rid of the most stuff. If you only use 2 pots but have 4 in your cabinet space, or have a bread pan sitting in the corner that has never been used, these are an example of items to donate. Think about what you use daily and what is rarely used.

7. Closet Declutter

Depending on who you are, your closet might be jam-packed with clothes, shoes, belts, and other accessories that have only been worn once or twice. When downsizing your closet think about the items of clothing and accessories that stand out to you. The 6 and 3 rule can also apply here. If you haven’t worn it in 6 months and don’t plan to wear it in the next 3 months (excluding weather-specific items) then it’s time to donate.

Downsizing Tips For Seniors

There will come a time in your life where, as you grow older, you may inevitably have to downsize for a myriad of reasons that may happen slowly or all at once. With The Junkluggers, you won’t have to lift a finger in disposing of unwanted items, hauling things off, or donating your possessions.

      • Start with small rooms and items

You will find it helpful to start in smaller areas of your home that hold fewer momentos attached to it such as the hallway closet or the office. Spaces like attics or garages that hold old projects, decorations, and other things can be difficult to sort through. 

      • Eliminate rooms you won’t have in your new home

If you find yourself moving into a one-bedroom home, getting rid of the excess belongings in the guest bedrooms and office will help you adjust quickly to your new space. Go through tools and landscaping items you may not need or won’t have storage for. If you can, visit where you will be living to help you visualize what you can and cannot keep. 

      • Preserve Your Collections

The hardest part about moving into a smaller space may be reducing years worth of collections and other hobby items. To downsize these things, pick out a few pieces that are your favorite and keep only a few from the entire collection. If you find that you will have to donate all of these items, take photos of them first and print them out. You can then place these in a photo album to display in your new home. 

      • Allow time for memory lane

Start early in your process of decluttering and downsizing. Getting rid of your possession is hard and you’ll likely be going through many different things that have memories attached. Allow yourself to experience memory lane and reminisce about those times. 

Advantages of Downsizing Your Home

Now that you’ve decluttered your home, you can sit back and relax! Cleaning will become easier with minimal things to dust and spray down. You’ll feel the weight off your shoulders of having to maintain a large home with many things to sort and keep track of. 

Allowing yourself to keep up with a lifestyle of minimal things that you may not need will help you refrain from buying excess things. Be mindful of your new space and enjoy the benefits of a decluttered and downsized home.

Hacks to organizing your home aren’t always straightforward and simple but the rewards to downsizing can make all the difference in your space. Remember that you aren’t alone in this process and Junkluggers is here to help. We’ll offer a stress-free experience to take away what you want to get rid of. Give us a call today to book your free onsite estimate!

Mover walking down staircase