Moving to a Smaller Home? Steps for Scaling Down Your Personal Possessions

From on May 14, 2009 in General

garagesale.jpgPhoto credit: eob

I’ll be moving to a smaller home soon. In fact, I’ll be losing half of the space I currently occupy. I have a two to three month window in which to downsize so I’ve already begun the scaling-down process. Here are some steps I’ve taken that might help you with your downscaling project:

Advertise on and the local newspaper

The first step I took was to list my giant Nautilus Smith Machine on Craigslist. It was hogging garage space and I knew I couldn’t take it with me, plus it was a big ticket item so I wanted to allow for plenty of time to sell.

I listed my treadmill and some furniture in the local paper and plan to use the paper to advertise my garage sales.

Phase out and cleanse

closet.jpgPhoto credit: zerethy

Go through your closets and look for clothes you haven’t worn in the last two seasons. If you’re like me, you’ll find plenty of items that still have the sales tags attached. Go through the same process with your shoes, hats, belts, etc. This is a real cleansing experience.

Go through your bookcase and weed out books you’ll never read again.

DVDs and VHS tapes take up space, keep your favorites and get rid of the rest.

Linens and bedding are big fluffy items that need to be stored in big spaces. If your new home lacks ample linen closet space then pare down and keep the essentials.

Sell to antique stores and consignment shops

The last time I downsized, back in 1999, I contacted my favorite antique store and gave them first dibs on my stuff prior to my garage sale. They bought some antiques and they also bought items that surprised me: decorative pillows, mirrors, and a garden fountain. Consignment shops are another avenue you can take. You’ll make more money with antique stores and consignment shops than garage sales.

Have a garage sale

By now you’ve probably planned where your furniture will be placed in your new house. You know which pieces you have to sell or give away. Plan a garage sale a couple weeks before your move and advertise it in the local paper as an Estate Sale.

Donate to charity

If you plan to donate make sure it’s with a charity that will give you a receipt with their IRS number for your tax deduction. It’s a good idea to keep a list of the items you’re donating and their value in case you’re audited.

Rent a storage unit

If your smaller home is temporary and you just can’t let go of your treasures then consider renting a storage unit. Depending on the size of the unit, prices range from $45 to $175.

There’s a lot of satisfaction in getting rid of your stuff, but don’t wait until the last minute to downscale. If you plan ahead and use time as your friend you’ll get better prices for your possessions and you’ll be more organized.