Tip Tuesday: Moving this Summer? 5 Ways to Declutter and Downsize Your Stuff

We’re smack dab in the middle of summer. Yes, this means it’s beach season. But it also means it’s moving season. The real estate market is in full swing, and there’s a chance you’re in the middle of a big summer move.


Moving can be stressful, but I look at it as a wonderful opportunity to pare down possessions. I’ve helped many clients prepare for a move, both locally and across country. Decluttering and downsizing seem like an overwhelming task to tackle along with all the other details surrounding a move, but it can be done. Here are 5 ways to help you downsize and declutter your stuff.

  1. Have a Plan – Select a date for when you want to be finished, and work backward from there. You may have to move out of your home by a certain date, and if you know that great. If not, put a date on the calendar. Knowing your end date will keep you on track and motivated. In addition to your finish date, put in your calendar the blocks of time you will devote to decluttering and stick to it.
  2. Schedule Charitable Donations – Schedule a few dates now for a charity to come pick up your items. Again, having these dates and a goal in mind will encourage you to let items go, knowing they will be picked up and go to a new home.
  3. Sell What You Don’t Need – If you have time and really want to hold a yard sale, summer is a great time to do it. If it will stress you out, don’t do it! Charities are a good fallback to offload useable items. You could also see if one of your older children would enjoy posting and selling items on Craigslist with the incentive of them keeping a portion of the proceeds. Caution, this is time consuming and may not yield you a lot of money.
  4. Know the Room Size – No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to fit a nine-room house into a four-room condo. Select your favorite pieces. Then decide if there is a family member interested in the pieces you don’t want or plan on donating/selling those items that you won’t be taking.
  5. Be Honest with Yourself – Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself on what items you really love and use. You can always take a photo of an item that you cherish but just won’t fit into your new space. Don’t move items just for the sake of sentimental value. You will end up regretting the decision and your new space will be overrun with nonfunctional pieces.

Downsizing and decluttering are not an easy task, but in the end you will feel lighter and be able to enjoy your new home!

Image: Real Simple

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