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Packing Tips

Moving to a Smaller House? Tips on How to Downsize

Moving to a smaller home is a chance to purge what you no longer need and simplify your life.

Why a Smaller House?

There are a variety of reasons to downsize to a smaller home. Many empty nesters decide they just don’t want to maintain a larger home, so they choose to downsize. Even some young families downsize, perhaps to move into an affordable, older home in a trendy area. Whatever the reason, if you decide to move to a smaller house, you need to decide which of your belongings are going to go with you and which just won’t fit.

How to Prepare for a Smaller House

The first step in moving to a smaller house is to sort through what you own. This is something that should be done in any move. Most people tend to accumulate more than they need, so moving is a good chance to go through your possessions and get rid of some of them. This becomes a pressing need when moving to a smaller home. Decide what can be thrown away, donated, given to friends, or even sold. There may be some things that you do not want to get rid of but should be stored. You may have to store them in the attic in your new home.

Next, you should evaluate each room in your current house and your new, smaller house. Make a plan for each room in the new house. Try a side-by-side chart in which you list (or sketch) the furniture in a room in your current house next to what can go into the corresponding room in the smaller house. This can show you what furniture can work in the new space. Chances are, there are going to be fewer rooms in the new home. That means you just may not have room for all of your current furniture.

If you have chosen to downsize your home, there is a little bit of general advice that can help in your move. Keep only the furniture that works for your new, smaller home. This may mean that you are going to get rid of perfectly good furniture. Finding a good home for it may make you feel better. Another option is to give it to a shelter or to a young couple just starting out. Also, pack away out-of-season clothes. Buy some water-proof bins, label them very clearly, and store them in the attic or basement until needed. That can clear up closet space in your new small home.

Warm Up to the Idea of Your New, Cozy Space

Finally, have the right attitude as you downsize to a smaller home. This is a chance to purge what you do not need or no longer use. You need to keep what works for your smaller home and not worry about getting rid of what doesn’t fit. You can be happier in your new space if your possessions and furniture fit well and you feel comfortable in the smaller home.

How to Pack a Room

Packing up all your belongings can be a nightmare. Follow our tips, and you’ll find it a lot less scary!

Beginning to pack your house can seem like a daunting task. Follow these pointers and you’ll quickly gain control of the situation.

Getting Started

  • Set up a table in the center of the room as a “staging area”. Place your boxes and packing materials near the table so they are easily accessible.
  • Pick a starting point in the room and begin packing in a clockwise direction.

Packing the Boxes

  • Use common sense and put heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter, more delicate things on top.
  • Try to fit items closely together in the box to avoid them from shifting during the move.

Packing Breakables

  • Line your box with soft padding material. Crumpled newspaper works well.
  • Lay out a piece of bubble wrap or several sheets of clean newspaper.
  • Put your item several inches below one corner and fold it over so the item is covered.
  • Fold the item over so the backside is exposed.
  • Wrap a side corner over, turn it over and wrap the other side corner over.
  • Keep repeating this process until the item is safely protected.
  • If you’re wrapping dishes, you can stack four to five together, as long as there is bubble wrap between each dish.
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