Downsizing: How to Declutter in Preparation for a Smaller Home

When it comes to home size, it used to be the bigger the better. However, these days more people are realizing that old notion may no longer suit them. Bigger homes require more upkeep, are more expensive to heat and cool, and create much more work in terms of maintenance.

So what’s the solution? The tiny house movement has been trending for a few years now and while you may not want to live in a tiny house, you may want to live in a smaller one. But what do you do with all of the things you’ve accumulated over the years to furnish and decorate your larger home?

If you’re thinking of downsizing your home and have no idea what to do with your things here are some tips to help you get started.


Get Your Friends and Family Involved

Everyone has that one friend or family member who is enamored with something in your house. Whether it’s a piece of furniture or a decorative item, they’re the ones who are always commenting on it. If you don’t have room for it in your smaller home or simply don’t want it any longer, let them have it. It can be a sale or a gift but if it brings them more joy than it does you, it’s the perfect solution.

Family heirlooms are the hardest things to let go of, so if one of your family members has the space and the inclination to take your great grandmother’s dining room hutch, then let them. It helps you lighten your load and ensures that these precious heirlooms remain in the family.

Assess Your New Space

If you’ve already purchased your new, smaller home, then you have a great advantage. You can go in and take careful measurements of each room to get a good idea of what will fit and what won’t. For instance, if your new home has two bedrooms and your older home had more you know that some bedroom furniture has to go.

The same goes for every room in your new home. If your dining room table seats six and your new dining room is less spacious, then a smaller table is in order. Start to think in terms of size and how you can make your new space comfortable but not cluttered.


What to Do With Your Unneeded Possessions

Once your friends and family have taken the items they want for their own homes and you’ve determined what will fit into your new space, it’s time to begin purging. Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is a garage sale and while that’s a great idea and something you may want to do at some point, there are other ways to whittle down what you own.

Donating items, like old clothing or that ignored, old boat, to charity is a great way to let go of some of your things, especially larger items. Not only does the charity sometimes come to pick up the items, thus saving you the hassle, you may be able to deduct the secondhand value of the items come tax time.

Other options include selling your things on eBay. This can work very well for antique items and collectibles and depending on the value of your items, you could make a fair amount of money. Craigslist is another option if you don’t want to spend the time it takes to ship items on eBay. And, of course, there’s the good, old-fashioned garage sale, which it also a great way to say an informal goodbye to your neighbors.

Giving up a home that contains years of memories, both tangible and intangible, is never an easy thing to do. There are bound to be feelings of stress and sadness along the way. But for people moving into a smaller home, the benefits can far outweigh the decision to stay in your current home. For instance, smaller homes mean less housework and maintenance. And for those with arthritis or limited mobility, a smaller, single-level home can make life much safer and easier.

At the end of the day, if your current house just feels too big or requires more upkeep than you can handle, downsizing may be one of the smartest decisions you’ve ever made.



Tiffany Rowe prides herself in creating resourceful pieces about downsizing and home organization. With years of experience, she’s found herself more passionate than ever to develop high-quality content and relationships across multiple platforms and audiences. 

Posted by , Founder of Affordable Organization

With organization comes a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. For me, there is added benefit of knowing that I am helping others as we work together at a professional level to reclaim their homes and offices as functional spaces. Read More


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