This story was originally titled "Living Large in Half the Space" in the March 2011 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
The biggest challenge when downsizing is deciding what to keep for the new house and how to part with the rest. Here are some tips.
What to keep
• Prioritize items that are already a part of your lifestyle.
• Go through the most cluttered rooms first – and don't forget closets and cupboards.
• Measure your furniture.
• Get floor plans with the dimensions of your new space; the location of doors and windows may affect furniture placement.
• Use a home design software program to help you visualize a preliminary floor plan.
• Give away sentimental items to those who will appreciate them.
• Auction off high-end pieces, have a yard sale or sell them on eBay.
• Recycle or donate to charity (goodwill.org).
• Arrange for a pickup of your unwanted items with the Salvation Army.
• Bring in a friend or professional designer if you're having a tough time deciding what to keep and what to chuck.
• Store items for a certain amount of time (say, six months), and if you haven't needed the item by then sell it or give it away.
How to get organized
• Clear plastic stackable bins with or without wheels are great for moving and storing, and come in many sizes.
• Label all boxes and bins by room.
• Buy or rent a small dolly or cart to move heavy boxes from room to room.
Moving day checklist
• Make sure both your origin and destination locations are ready; arrange for street parking, loading docks and elevators if needed.
• Take all of your valuables (e.g., jewelry, artwork) and any personal and important documents with you, and make appropriate arrangements for your pets.
• Move large furniture items into your new home first.
• Place furniture in the rooms according to the plan you made earlier.
• Put labelled storage boxes into their respective rooms and then begin unpacking.
• Start with the bathroom – it's the room most likely to be needed first.
• Organize your space as you unpack.
• Use closet and cupboard storage solutions; home improvement centres sell storage racks that will allow you to take advantage of every square inch of available storage space.
Are you considering a downsize from your current home? Take a look at our expertly designed small-space makeover for inspiration.
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