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Moving into a smaller home? Here's how to downsize effectively

Moving into a smaller home? Here's how to downsize effectively

Whether you're moving into more manageable space after your kids leave the nest, heading into a city from the suburbs, migrating to a warmer climate or have one of many other reasons, making the switch to a smaller home is a common process.

To make the most of your new space, you'll need to downsize. You don't want overflowing closets and valuable storage space packed with unopened boxes, right?

A view of a small living room and kitchen.A smaller new home means you'll likely need to strategically downsize if moving from a larger space.

How to downsize your home

Reducing the total number of belongings in your home is a hot topic right now, whether you're planning a move to a smaller space or not. Organizing consultant Marie Kondo has been popular in recent years, but her Netflix series, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo," has given her even more attention.

Kondo's KonMari method is effective for a wide range of people, in part due to its simple premise: gathering all belongings by category, then keeping only the items that spark joy within you. While you'll also have to make some practical considerations based on the size of your new home, this approach can give you an especially strong start.

If you're not as sentimental about your belongings, you can consider using the square footage, layout and amount of storage space in your new home as a guide. You'll have to use some estimations and educated guesses, of course, but you can get a good start on planning to use the reduced space you'll have available after the move.

Insurance company The Hartford offered some suggestions for specific areas where cutting down might feel especially easy. Hobby items that are no longer used are easy to get rid of, as long as you appreciate the role they played in your life and recognize how they can help others once sold or donated.

The junk drawer and repair projects you never got around to is another easy area to target. Focus on practicality and consider whether you actually want to pay to move that broken TV or box of mismatched clothes, much less have a use for them in your new home.

Making sure you get rid of those excess belongings

You have a number of effective strategies for making sure those items you no longer need find their way to a new home or responsible disposal. You have three major strategies to consider as you look to get these belongings off of your hands: donating, selling and throwing away.

Selling may be your first choice, especially because the extra cash can make it easier to hire professional movers and packers. As long as you can reasonably assess what will and won't sell, spending a weekend morning and early afternoon putting things up for sale is a good strategy. Learn more with our guide to moving sales. Certain items that have a definite but less widespread appeal, like tools for a niche hobby or small specialized electronics, may be worth selling through the internet on sites like Craigslist or LetGo.

Donating items won't provide a direct cash benefit, but it can provide a tax write-off and benefits both the charity you give it to and the person who eventually buys it. National nonprofits like Goodwill have locations across the country that will accept donations and provide itemized receipts. Some even offer scheduled pickups.

Throwing things away should be the last option, but shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to broken, worn-out or otherwise unusable items. Just be sure to dispose of or recycle those items responsibly.

While you'll need to invest some time and effort in downsizing, the result will be a much cleaner, clearer and more enjoyable place to live. When it's time to make the move to your new home, get in touch with the expert movers and packers at Atlas!

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