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How to Begin Downsizing


Here are some quick tips to get you started.

1. CREATE FOUR PILES – KEEP, KIDS, DONATE AND UNDECIDED. Danielle Ramirez, Client experience Manager, Professional Organizer, and Move Manager, says, “As you go through your personal belongings, determine what will move with you into your new home. Most likely the place where you downsize will be smaller than your current living situation, so it is important to think about space when deciding what will stay.” Completely eliminating all of the furniture and decorations in rooms you will not have in your new home is an easy place to start.

2. RESEARCH THRIFT STORES consignment shops and community donation drop-off locations where you can take the items on your “Donate” pile.

3. START PACKING! Danielle says, “As you sort through your belongings, start the packing process. For items you decide to keep, immediately pack them and label the box. Create a designated area in your home for keep boxes. This will save you time in the future when you are ready to move.”

4. HOST A SORTING DAY WITH FAMILY MEMBERS. Invite your children, grandchildren and others to join you for a sorting day where they help you go through your items and make piles.

5. OFFER EARLY LEGACY GIFTS. If you have heirloom furniture, dishes or quilts, offer them to your family members early. Doing so means you don’t have to move the items and your family members get to enjoy them longer!


The start of a new month is a great time to start downsizing. Here are 10 easy tips to begin downsizing.

1. Start early, start small. The best time to start downsizing is today! The key is to take the plunge and start small. If you start with a drawer or closet, you will feel the excitement of accomplishment and be motivated to continue.

2. Identify your favorite things. Prepare a list of items that are top priority keepers. Focus on items that are important to you, have sentimental value and can serve a purpose in your new home.

3. Evaluate carefully. As you determine what to keep, ask yourself three key questions: Do I love it? Does it still fit into my lifestyle? Have I used it in the last 12 months? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, place the item in the donate or discard box.

4. Sort like items with like items. Be sure you look at your whole collection. For example, collect magazines from throughout your home. Once you see how many of one thing you have, it helps to choose the best and get rid of the rest.

5. Tell the stories. Telling someone the story of a particular item is one thing that helps us to let go. Take the time to recognize the importance of an item and share the story with someone else. This will help you give it a new life with someone else.

6. Plan for donations. Say YES to donations. Research local donation centers that will help you feel good about donating.

7. Digitize documents. Old tax returns, financial statements, bills and photographs take up a lot of space and weight. Consider converting them into scanned files and digital albums to free up valuable space.

8. Recycle and toss. The average house clear out generates an actual ton of trash. Contact your local waste and recycling centers to find out drop-off hours and which items they do and don’t accept.

9. Sort into categories. Use different colored painter’s tape to tag items too big for a box. Most items fall into these categories: Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash. This visual will motivate you to keep making decisions about all of the items in your home.

10. Honor your commitments. Make downsizing appointments on your calendar and honor those appointments. Downsizing takes a commitment, but the reward is worth the work!

Information adapted from Wayforth. To learn more about downsizing and moving with Wayforth, contact Danielle Ramirez, Client Experience Manager 484-750-2380


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