Steps to Simplify Downsizing Your Residence

Are you, a friend or a loved one planning a move into a smaller home or condo, assisted living facility or dorm room?  Here are some tips for organizing and/or downsizing to make the transition easier:

1.  Write a list of all the items you love or need and can't live without.  This will make it easier to dispose of those items that are not on the list.

2.  Label four bins:  To Keep, To Sell, To Donate To Charity, and Undetermined.

3. Get a feel for the size of your new space by comparing them to similar spaces in your present home.  This will help you, realistically, determine what will fit in your new space. 

4.  Start thinning out your belongings as soon as possible.  Schedule time each day, even 15 minutes, to sort through one area of your home.

5.  Start in rooms that do not have as many items with sentimental value, like the kitchen or garage.  This will help you get some momentum going and the positive feelings you experience should transfer to the more difficult areas you need to go through.

6.  Have an objective person help you sort through the Undetermined bin.

7.  For the items that may be highly valuable, try an auction house.  There are many different levels of auctioneers and second hand dealers that will come to your home to look at your items.  Items or lower value might be disposed of through a consignment shop, online (such as eBay) or garage sale.

8.  Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move.  It will keep you from wasting time and money moving furniture that will not fit in your new space. 

9.  Once you get to the packing stage, use a color-coded system to organize all of your boxes.  Choose a color for each room and mark the boxes destined for that room with a coordinating color sticker.

10.  Call a professional organizer to ease the time and difficulty of downsizing and moving!