Living in your home for many years, you are bound to accumulate two things: memories and stuff. Stuff comes in many forms from old receipts, to souvenirs from vacation, to your kids’ belongings long after they’ve left home. It is often easier to tuck things away where you have extra space than purge.

However there comes a point where it is time to move on from your big home into something that fits your current lifestyle. There are many communities and condominiums in Central Florida that cater to right-sizing, but the process of downsizing is often difficult and stressful which leads to reluctantly putting off moving into the home that will house the next chapter of your life.

Decluttering and downsizing made simple:

Start with Personal Effects

One of the first steps of decluttering and downsizing should be identifying the meaningful personal effects that you want to carry with you into your next home. This can include pictures, trophies, awards, ornaments, or whatever has personal sentimental value. Not only should these things be removed for staging your home for sale, but it ensures they are prioritized and safeguarded through your transition into your new house. It’s easy to misplace things in a move after all.

Safely store these items in clearly marked boxes that are easy to find.

Furniture and Large Items

Large pieces of furniture are often the hardest to decide on. Think of your next space and how much you can realistically fit in your new home. Anything that won’t fit will need to find a new home. You can sell furniture on Marketplace and Craigslist to make some money on your move, or donate items that are in good condition to shelters, churches, or organizations that help people who are in need. Some organizations like Habitat for Humanity will resell furniture and use the money to fund local home builds for community members in need of housing.

Digitize Photos

Before digital photos were so prominent, it was common to have stacks of family pictures, vacation pictures, and more tucked away in drawers or closets. As you move into a smaller property, every inch of storage space becomes more valuable. Digitizing old photos is a simple way to save space and ensure your images are protected. It also allows you the flexibility of having them reprinted, resized, and repurposed for digital use and sharing. It’s much easier to send a picture in an email than by mail.

Make sure to save your photos in two places, like external hard drives, to protect them in case something happens to your one of your drives or your computer.

Take Your Time

While you’re preparing to right-size your life, make sure you don’t rush yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to sift through your belongings and make sure you’re not overlooking anything that you may regret getting rid of later on. It’s a good idea to start organizing 90-180 days before you plan to move to alleviate pressure and have plenty of time to prepare for the sale of your home.

Decluttering and downsizing are a big step as getting rid of items we’ve held on to for years can be difficult. Keep in mind the end goal of your decision to right-size, finding the perfect home that fits your current and future lifestyle needs. Whether you’re moving to a golf community to enjoy hot days on the course, or a condominium so it is easier to leave your home unattended while you travel, the options for downsizing and right-sizing are endless.

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