How to Downsize for a Move – How to Declutter and Earn Money in the Process

September 3, 2021Moving Tips
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Each relocation has its unique circumstances. If we’re about to leave a large house behind and enter a smaller place, we should know how to downsize for a move. With some tips and tricks, downsizing will be done swiftly, and you’ll be able to witness how beneficial it can be.

When we get rid of our belongings during a relocation, it’s usually because we are relocating to a big city to live in an apartment. A large part of the US economy is not based on popular import cars but apartment complexes and buildings. They provide more than a million and a half job positions related to them and add almost $200 trillion to the wealth of the country. But what does living in a smaller residence mean for us? It means that our family will have to adjust a bit in terms of lifestyle, but above all, figure out what to get rid of before relocating out of the current place.

Why It’s Important to Know How to Downsize for a Move Properly

We move for love and get ready to cohabitate for the first time in our life or move out to another state alone and start an independent life. But relocating from a house to an apartment is not as simple as taking the “where should I move” quiz, packing up your stuff, and investing in open trailer car shipping for your vehicle. A smaller abode means you won’t be able to fit all of your things into it. But, how do you downsize things? It’s a pretty straightforward process, and the few basic things you will need the most is the determination to do it and be thorough. If you are not rigorous while you declutter and don’t get rid of enough possessions, it can make unpacking after relocating a nightmare.

Person carrying a box
You should organize a move thoroughly, and downsizing will make it as easy as pie

Start to Pack Your Home in the Best Possible Way

One of the things you forget to do when you move is to begin preparing ahead of time and doing everything last minute can raise the stress levels through the roof. So, how do you prepare for a downsize move? The best relocating hack when it comes to preparatory steps is to start early and give yourself enough time. Decluttering is something that you can do even eight weeks before the move-out date, and it will guarantee you a stress-free relocation.

Determine the Best Strategy to Handle Your Items

One of the key choices you’ll have to make on how to downsize a home is to figure out which strategy will work best for you. If you’ve lived in your current home for some time, it’s only natural that you’ve managed to pile quite a few unnecessary things, but don’t let their number scare you away from downsizing. Keep in mind that this way you’ll be able to save on costs and make relocating to a new home a bit less expensive. You can go about it in two ways – by room or category, but we suggest that going by rooms is a tad more productive. It’s simply because you’ll be able to tackle the less frequented rooms first.

Enter the Garage, the Attic, and the Toolshed and Make Some Free Space

If you’re wondering what NOT to take with you when you’re relocating to a new state, you will most likely find the majority of these things in the rooms you use less frequently. The attic and the garage are often used as storage for the possessions we believe might be of use at some point in the future. That’s where we stash broken possessions, too. But the truth is, these objects keep collecting dust and cobwebs and lie forgotten in a corner. But, if you want to move efficiently, you need to be honest with yourself and purge all the excess stuff. One more tip that will help you prepare for movers better is that, once you’ve cleaned these rooms, you’ll have free space where you can place everything that you’ve packed. Get some inspiration for purging things in the attic from the video below.

YouTube video

Go Through Each Room of Your Home, and Use the Pile System

At this point, you probably see decluttering as a ton of work and not something that will help save money to move. But, keep in mind that moving companies will charge you based on the number of items you want to transport, and by getting rid of some of them, you’ll lower the expenses. Let that be an inspiration that will drive you to tackle this with a smile on your face.

How Do I Start Decluttering to Move? Out With the Old!

We’re pretty sure that you’ll find many things bound to be thrown into the garbage once you start with tidying and decluttering. That broken lamp you thought you were going to fix right away? You never got to it, and now it’s lying there for years. The old cabinet sitting in the corner that needs remodeling? It won’t fit into the new place anyway. And, let’s face it – a bit of decluttering can lower the levels of anxiety about moving out, aside from freeing up space in your home.

The Movers Can Give You a List of What Not to Pack

Professional help makes everything more manageable, and it’s the same with relocations. But, a car shipping company has its own rules about preparing the vehicle for transport, and it’s the same with movers. Not getting informed about what you can pack and load on a truck would be a big moving mistake, so it’s best to contact the company that will handle your move and ask them for a list of non-allowables. Anything flammable, poisonous, and otherwise hazardous will be on this list, but also things like perishable food and plants.

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Donate and Send Some Happiness Toward Someone in Need

After a considerable amount of unusable possessions had made it to the garbage bin, it’s time to set aside things in a pretty good condition, but you don’t need or want anymore. One of the best moving tips is to pack up those things and find charities you can donate to:

  • Most of us like to collect books, but they tend to be among the heavier objects for transport when we’re about to move. Since you probably won’t reread some books, pack them up and donate them to the local library.
  • Search for a local Goodwill Donation Center and contact them to see what kind of items they accept. Check if the objects you want to donate are in good condition – the electronics and appliances should be in working condition, and clothes should be cleaned at the dry cleaners.
  • Habitat for Humanity also accepts different types of donations and will come to pick them up. The good thing about this charity is that they also take furniture from large to small pieces.
  • Local food banks are an excellent place to send any food you won’t be taking with you, so pack up cans, dried foods, pasta, rice, cereal, and any other non-perishable foods.

Other charities, such as the Salvation Army, Dress to Success, and Baby2Baby, have their own rules about items they accept. Be sure you contact them before you donate.

Make Some Money From a Garage Sale

A successful garage sale may be just what you need to add to the relocation budget. If you have never had one before, we’ll give you a few tips that can help you. It’s best to throw a sale on the weekend, and Saturday morning is probably the wisest choice. You should advertise it well, both in the neighborhood and on social media. You can call your family members to help out in the sale, and they can contribute with their belongings. The pricing should be clear and visible, and you can even group some things by category, such as bathroom items or kitchen utensils. No matter how much you make, it will be beneficial in two ways – you’ll have fewer things to transport, and you’ll earn some money.

Post Some of Your Possessions Online

You may be exhausted and overburdened with everything – from packing a bag of moving essentials to organizing the move-out day. If you don’t think you can manage an all-day sale in your yard, don’t worry, there’s a solution. Apps like LetGo can be a solution to your problem – it’s a way to sell your used belongings. Facebook is also a good option. There are probably many groups dedicated to selling and buying second-hand things. You can also post pictures on your timeline and find someone interested among your friends and family.

A woman selling clothes online before the USA auto transport company arrives
Take a couple of good photos and post the unwanted things online

It’s Best to Pack the Furniture for Storage by Disassembling It

After you’ve decided what to get rid of, what to donate, and what to sell, there are probably some objects, especially furniture, you’re not so sure what to do with. This is where self-storage units will come in handy, but you should take some precautions to adequately protect items in storage units. When it comes to bulky furniture, packing tips include disassembling it first, cleaning it, polishing it, and thoroughly protecting it. You can use different packing materials such as furniture blankets, bubble wrap, and plastic wrap for the ultimate protection.

A pile of tools on the floor
Disassemble bulky pieces before you place them into storage

Use the Marie Kondo Method for Final Decluttering

As the enclosed auto transport will keep your car safe from the weather and the dirt, the KonMarie method can help you keep your home uncluttered. You should go through your belongings once again and determine if there’s anything else left to discard before you close the boxes. Her motto is to keep only things that spark joy, and it’s a great way to keep away from cluttering your new place, as well as a method on how to downsize when moving. While you pack up, figure out if you want to keep all of the clothes, shoes, and other items, and simply get rid of anything you think is an excess.

In With the New, but Mind the Space

After you’ve moved to a smaller residence, your way of thinking about arrangements should be slightly different. You should look for some creative storage ideas so your place can always look neat and tidy. The first rule is to keep it simple when you go out to shop for some new things. Don’t overdo it, and shop for multipurpose items, such as tables and sofas with hidden compartments. Racks and wall shelves will also be life-saving items for small spaces.

A room with shelves
Use up every available space in residence, including the walls

Downsizing Is Beneficial, and Not Only When We’re Moving

Decluttering is a freeing experience. And not only does it free up space in your home or liberates you from a lot of packing, it certainly does wonders for your budget. But we shouldn’t lean on this practice only after we decide where to live and begin to prepare. It’s an important habit to embrace, so consider making it a part of your everyday life. As much as the door-to-door auto transport will make your life easier, as you won’t have to travel to pick up your car, regular downsizing will create a more manageable lifestyle for the whole family.

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