Downsizing: How to de-clutter to make it easier

Moving house, especially if you’re downsizing, is the perfect time to cull a bunch of stuff you no longer want or need.

In the lead up to putting my house on the market, I’ve taken this idea to heart. In a massive way.

Some of my de-cluttering has been the result of packing items away to de-personalize (that’s a word, right?) my space to make it more inviting to a buyer.

But a lot of it has been the result of looking at things and asking why I still have them. I’m a little embarrassed to admit there were far too many items that fit that description.

Plus, selling and moving is going to mark the beginning of my ‘fresh start’.

Downsizing is an Opportunity

So, view downsizing as an opportunity for a fresh start in your new home by ensuring you’re taking with you only those things you love, and because getting rid of things you’ve been hanging onto for years is satisfyingly cathartic.

Plus, if you’re downsizing from the big family home because the fledglings have finally flown the nest, and you’ve had your family home for a long time, you probably haven’t had the luxury of seriously revamping your style much over the years. This is the perfect time to do it.

Getting rid of everything except your personal items might be a necessity, too. There’s a good chance that if you’re downsizing to a smaller home, your furniture is inappropriate for the scale of your place. Because I intend to rent for a while after I sell, I have no idea what will fit and what won’t so, for me, this will be a bit of a last minute decision.

In the meantime, I’m packing away all the things I think I need to keep and getting rid of as much as I possibly can. For me, it’s all about the fresh start.

Figuring out what stays and what goes can be tricky… Here are my tips for helping you decide what to keep and what to ditch.


What to take with you when you’re downsizing

When you’re downsizing, it pays to get comfortable with a tape measure.

Check the dimensions of the rooms (even if that means estimating by stepping out the distances) and your furniture then get crafty.

Create scaled down cutouts matching your furniture’s foot print and lay them out on your scaled down floor plan.

Look at the large pieces you own, like sofas and beds and see if they will fit, let alone if they will fit comfortably in your new space.

Also, think beyond the usual uses for your furniture. If you have a large lounge suite that won’t fit in the new space; two sofas, a chair and ottoman, for example. Can the chair fit in the bedroom or the study?

De-cluttering advice

Go through everything and don’t get emotional

Look at things as memories. You don’t need to hold on to all of the artwork from your kids. Perhaps frame one and then take photos of them all and save them on a cloud or hard drive. 

Storage is not an option

Remember, this is your opportunity for a fresh start.

Don’t drag things with you to the new place just because you may not have time to sort it. If you’ve made the decision to downsize, chances are it’s not a spur of the moment decision. You know it’s coming so start sorting as soon as the decision is made.

Do it before you put up the ‘For Sale’ sign, try not to put anything you don’t know for sure you want in your life in a box. Chances are, all those ‘maybe one day’ things will still be in a box in 10 years.

Get the family involved

Ask your kids, extended family or even neighbors if they can use the furniture you’ll no longer need and send those unwanted items into new homes.

My advice? Don’t wait. Start sharing that stuff around now.

Build a Life you Love

The absolute driving force behind my online endeavours is to establish and maintain a life I love. A life that allows me to spend my days the way I want to spend them.

After a short stint back in the corporate world, I’m more committed than ever to spend my days doing things that bring me joy and add real value to others’ lives.

Blogging – Learn how to start your own blog or business web site. Once you get started, there’s almost no limit to what you can achieve for yourself. But, the first step is establishing your foundation and that has to be a self-hosted site. If you’re just testing the waters, I recommend Bluehost as a cost-effective way to get started.

Online Store / eCommerce – Along with this and some of my other blogs, I have another business that includes an Etsy store and a Shopify store. Whether you’re selling stock you’ve purchased, dropshipping or selling your own handmade products, eCommerce is a great way to start an online business in your spare time. Shopify is a great platform to use as it’s intuitive and has lots of help available if you get stuck, and they have a ton of plugins to make it easy to get all of the features you want.

Managing your Money – The framework for everything in life and business is good money management. Keep coming back to our site for more helpful tips, but if you are doing some shopping and want cash back, check out Rakuten (formerly eBates).

Easy ways to kickstart your downsizing journey

It’s daunting. I know!

It doesn’t need to be though. So give yourself a little shake and start by purging the easy stuff. Once you start seeing results you’ll have the motivation to keep going.

Your turn…

Have you gone through the experience of downsizing your home? Did I miss anything?

Tell us about your experience (good and bad) and any tips I’ve missed that you think will be helpful to others about to go through the experience themselves.