Downsizing your home is an arduous and daunting process. As you face a new phase of your life as an empty nester, keep this checklist on hand to help you in the process.
☐ Measure new home
☐ Take stock of furniture/appliance
☐ Get paperwork in order
☐ Throw away/recycle
☐ Schedule large donation and trash pickup
☐ Update your address at the post office
Step 1: Organization
Before you start the downsizing process, take the time to get everything in order. Start by measuring your new home and writing it down so you know the space you’re working with. Next, take quick stock of your large items – washers, refrigerators, large furniture, etc. These will be the first items you’ll want to decide what to do with. Next, get all your paperwork in order for the move. This will likely be an ongoing process.
Step 2: Decide What to Keep
This will take you the longest, and that’s ok! Going through your possessions is a draining process that conjures up memories. It’s important during this process to stay on schedule – make a plan for each room and stick to it. You’ll want to go through everything you own and sort it into piles:
Must-haves: The things you need to keep – important paperwork, furniture and possessions.
Nice-to-haves: These are things that you don’t necessarily need but that bring you joy. You can revisit this pile later to further downsize if you’re unsure about any items.
Donate/sell: Things you no longer need that are in good condition. If you plan on having a garage sale, set aside those items. Sort everything else into boxes for easy donation. If you’re not sure where to donate during COVID-19, this article from House Beautiful lists organizations currently accepting donations.
Throw away/recycle: These are things that are simply broken or unusable. If a donation service won’t take it, recycle it if possible or throw it in the trash.
Step 3: Get Ready for the Move
Now that you’ve sorted through your possessions, it’s time to actually get rid of them. Have your final sale, take your items to donation centers and schedule trash pickup for large items. Begin packing your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Finish off your final paperwork, including updating your address at the post office. Now you’re ready for your move!
Downsizing can be overwhelming, but it helps to create a plan and stick to it. Use this checklist in your move.