Press "Enter" to skip to content

How to Downsize Your Home

There are lots of reasons to downsize your home. Whether you’re looking to save money or spend more time traveling instead of cleaning, downsizing is a great option for everyone, regardless of circumstances. But, you might be wondering where you’d even start when it comes to downsizing your home. Here are some tips on downsizing that will help you through the process!

bathroom vanity cabinets

Don’t Wait – Start When You Decide to Downsize

You shouldn’t procrastinate on this one. Instead of waiting around for the right moment, start downsizing as soon as possible. Downsizing doesn’t just mean moving. It also means getting rid of clutter. Whether that means going through all the items stored in your bathroom vanity cabinets or tackling the storage containers you stacked in the garage, you should strive to get your downsizing started as soon as you decide to do it.

Go Through All Your Belongings – Even the Ones in the Storage Unit

Instead of shuffling all your items into the storage unit, create boxes for different categories and then sort your items accordingly:

  • Keep: All the items you’re going to keep and/or take with you if you’re making a move to a smaller place should go in this box. Really consider whether or not you use the items before you place them into the keep box. If it’s getting too full too fast, then you’re not downsizing effectively.
  • Donate: This box should be reserved for items that you are no longer keeping but are in decent enough shape that you can give them to someone else. Where you choose to donate the items is entirely up to you. Homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters are all good places to donate your gently used items.
  • Sell: Items that are in good enough condition you could make a quick buck or two from should go in this pile. After putting the items up for sale or hosting a yard sale, take stock of what didn’t sell. If it’s still in great condition, then transfer the items to the donate box and send them with your next round of donations. You can either keep the money you earn from selling your items or donate a portion to a local charity.
  • Trash: Items that can’t be donated, sold or kept should go in this box. Some items are automatically going to go into this box based on their type and usage, but others might be trashed because there’s simply no use for them anymore – and no one else would probably use them, either. Make sure to dispose of items properly, as some older electronic devices require specific disposal techniques.


Digitize What You Can

Digitizing is a great way to declutter and downsize your space. For many, that means going through boxes of old letters, cards and even artwork from elementary school. Take all those items and scan them into the computer, either to an external hard drive or a cloud-based software. That way, you don’t clog up the memory and storage on your computer. Spread items out across multiple platforms and make backups as necessary.

While digitizing might take a lot of time, it’s also a great way to get the family involved. It can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time together by going over old memories and creating new ones as you look through old photo albums. Get the grandkids involved and have them handle the actual scanning and saving part of the process. Your kids can help you organize your paper items. For items that can’t be scanned, take pictures of each item so that you have a digital version of it. If they’re sentimental or hold value, consider passing them down as heirlooms. That way, the items can still live on without taking up space in your home.

Replace the Furniture – or Rearrange Your Current Setup

Sometimes, it’s simply the furniture that’s taking up too much space. If you haven’t purchased furniture within the past 10 years, you either have great furniture or you’re still sporting clunky furniture from decades past. You don’t have to go renovating your entire home or replacing all your items at one time, but it is important that you consider how you can replace items that are taking up too much space or no longer fit into your decluttered lifestyle. If you’re moving to a new place, this is the perfect opportunity to sell all your current furniture and replace it with new items that fit better in your new space. Some items, such as quality cabinets, are an absolute must, but others, such as the number of nightstands in your bedroom, are items that can be replaced over time.

Measure Your Space Properly

Measuring your space properly is one of the best ways to downsize effectively. You’ll want to be sure that you use a tape measure and a leveler to get the best measurements. By measuring the space properly, you can be sure that any items you replace will fit correctly in your new living area. Plus, knowing the shape of each room will really go a long way to ensure that your space has the right furniture in it. There’s nothing worse than choosing furniture that doesn’t go with the space.

measuring scale

Simplify as Much as Possible

Simplifying is the whole purpose of downsizing. Get rid of multiples of one item, unless you use all the multiples frequently. Challenge yourself to only open one item at a time, especially food items. When purchasing items, really consider your uses for it. If you just think the item looks cute or wouldn’t really serve a practical purpose, then you shouldn’t purchase it. Reducing clutter is how you can simplify your lifestyle.

Consider How Downsizing Will Positively Benefit You

There are many benefits to downsizing. As you move through the process, you might hit some roadblocks or feel defeated, especially if you’re a bit of a hoarder and have a lot of items to get through. In order to stay positive during downsizing, remind yourself of all the reasons you’re reducing the clutter in your home.