Downsizing does not have to be so stressful. Here are five tips on how to make it easy.

For many, the idea of downsizing conjures stressful situations – having to squeeze your life into a smaller space can be daunting. However, the good news is there are plenty of ways to make the transition smooth and straightforward.

Downsizing can offer an array of benefits, including lower housing costs, better neighborhoods, and being closer to amenities. When you are in the process of downsizing, follow this simple guide, so you do not end up losing sight of what is important.

What would you replace?

The best place to start is by taking an inventory of everything you currently own. Make three lists – “Must-Haves,” “Can be Replaced” and “Live Without.” These lists will help you categorize your belongings and help you take stock of what you have.

Must-haves are the things that you cannot live without. Your “Live Without” lists are things that you could sell, donate, or get rid of completely. When making “Your Can be Replaced” list include items that you could sell to help you fit into a smaller space.

If you are combining households, this is a significant step, so you do not end up with duplicate items. 

Sell it all

Once you know what you do not need, the next step is listing them for sale. Yard sales and online listings are great ways to find buyers for your items. Remember that the entire purpose of downsizing is getting rid of things you do not use or need. So try to make as much money as you can from your items, but do not be afraid to offer steep discounts too.

You only need one of everything

Duplication, especially when you are combining households, just wastes space. This is why it is so important to have a thorough inventory before you begin this process. A big challenge of moving into a small space with a partner is making sure you each bring only what you need for the new area. 

Consider storage

Small spaces are always short on storage. Instead of thinking, you need to rent a storage space, get creative with the space you have. Think about ottomans that open up or wall-mounted shelving. Under the bed, storage boxes will all help you keep your items neat and orderly. 

Stay committed to keeping possessions to a minimum

Finally, make sure you stay committed to not upsizing your life. That means weigh new purchases carefully – make sure you have the space to store anything you are considering buying. This will likely involve a lot of compromises, and that is okay. Space is a premium, so keep your home as organized as possible.

Downsizing is a process, so do not think you are going to get everything done all at once. Remember that it is important to be ruthless with your lists. By being honest about what you actually use and what you do not, your new space will feel spacious – no matter its size.

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