Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by John Dawson of North American Van Lines about how to downsize when moving into a new home.
Do you have an abundance of old things cluttering up the closets and storage in your home?
You aren’t alone. A study published by the Wall Street Journal found that Americans spend more than $1.2 trillion on nonessential products and goods every year. It’s one of the most stressful things in a move, too – where in the world will I put all my stuff?
Minimizing when moving into a new home allows you to skip this stress; it gives you an opportunity to begin anew and let go of the things you don’t need. By taking these steps, you can focus on minimizing and make the most of your brand-new home.
Organize by taking inventory
The key to minimizing shouldn’t come as a shock; you need to get organized. To do this, you must start by taking inventory of the items you currently have in each room. This includes all furniture, appliances, decorations, clothes, electronics, dishes, cutlery – all of it.
Now ask yourself: Do I need this? The essentials will stand out as no-brainers, but you’ll reach a point where you must think about it. At this point, be as ruthless with your possessions as you can.
Itemize the things you don’t need
Once you’ve marked the things you need and set them aside, go through the remaining items and try to cut and redundancies. If you have an old set of bedroom furniture or a dozen blankets, for instance, you should probably get rid of them.
If you didn’t use it in your old house, you won’t use it in the new one.
Clothing is another item that you can cut this way. Have a lot of blue shirts? Cut a few. If you haven’t worn something, why take the time to move it to a new home?
Analyze your new home’s space
Take stock of your new property to determine how much space it offers. Try to plan where your you’ll fit the items that you want to keep. If there’s not enough space, it might be wise to make another round of cuts to your current pile of stuff.
With this step, you want to make sure you have plenty of storage options left over. If you move in by filling all your storage options, you’ll set yourself up to clutter again down the line. Don’t jump the gun by renting a self-storage unit until you know where every item will go.
Donate to charities
Many people will hold a garage sale to sell off their unwanted items. Promoting it as a moving estate sale can bring in plenty of attention.
But no one ever sells their entire mass of unwanted goodies. By donating to charity, you can help in several ways. Some charities like Goodwill will come to pick up your unwanted items, saving you the hassle of further planning. You’ll sometimes be offered a tax-deductible receipt for your efforts.
It’s also much easier to be ruthless with your own items if you know they’ll go to a good cause. There are plenty of amazing causes out there too. You can donate a collection of stuffed animals to Stuffed Animals for Emergencies, books to Operation Paperback – you can even find local charities through Donation Town.
Moving doesn’t have to be the stressful, anxiety-ridden task that so many people make it out to be. By organizing and planning ahead, you’ll have an easier time moving and de-clutter your new home in the process.
John Dawson is a media specialist for North American Van Lines. He regularly contributes content to a variety of home and moving blogs.