When you downsize, packing is an even greater chore because you need to make hard decisions to pare down your belongings. Once you’ve determined what your new lifestyle and space look like, it’s a lot easier to make decisions.
Make Piles for Keep, Donate, Giveaway, and Trash
As you begin to downsize, your packing will go so much faster when you know where everything is headed from the start. Create spaces in your home where you can pile up those things that you intend to donate, giveaway, or throw in the trash. Everything that does not fall into one of those categories is to be considered a keep. As soon as any of the piles has a decent amount of items, get them cleared out of your home and into their newly designated homes so that you can concentrate on packing and storing your remaining items.
Tackle the Largest Pieces of Furniture First
As you decide what you are going to keep and get rid of, look at your largest pieces of furniture first. These will need to be moved first regardless of what you decide to do with them. Once you know the size of the space you are moving into, you can make better decisions about what furniture comes, and what needs to go.
Divide and Pare Down Collections
Our collections can grow to include some of our most prized possessions over time, but sometimes they just grow too big as time passes. Really evaluate any collection of items that you’ve acquired over time and determine how you can pare it down to just those pieces that are most meaningful to you. This can mean keeping only one piece from each collection, your most prized piece, to display prominently in your new space, or keeping a micro collection to display.
Empty Out the Drawers and Closets Early On
Drawers and closet space are the most cluttered areas of our life, because they are where we tend to stash items out of sight. For this reason, it is important that you tackle these areas early on and with a vengeance. Downsizing involves a lot of decluttering, and most of the items that we hold onto but don’t really need or use get tossed into these places.
Set a timer with one hour’s worth of time and keep all your packing supplies nearby as you work on dividing up the items in these spots. Work on one closet or set of drawers at a time, getting as much done as possible in an hour’s worth of time. Empty everything out of the junk drawers and closets you have so that you are only taking with you what you absolutely need and have room for.
Keep Multipurpose Pieces
Smaller spaces doesn’t just mean less furniture, but smarter furniture that works with your space. You want to keep and take those pieces that are multipurpose, serving dual purposes in a small space. These multipurpose pieces can keep a room from feeling crowded or dominated by bulky pieces.
There are so many pieces that can serve dual purposes in your home if you just look at them with this purpose in mind. Consider storage ottomans instead of a traditional coffee table. Wardrobes that can be modified into desk space, slim Murphy desks that fold down when not in use, and movable carts to both store items and work on. All of these multipurpose pieces are ideal in a small home and are worth holding onto when you downsize.
Consider Legacy Pieces and Keepsakes
Legacy Pieces and keepsakes fall under a special section when it comes to downsizing. Before packing any of these up, regardless of whether you will be keeping them or passing them on to other family members, now is the time to make sure they are properly restored, insured, and handled so that they are able to last for generations to come.