Moving boxes

Taking Stress out of the Downsizing Process

Written by Greystar
Edited by Greystar
Lifestyle September 28, 2016

Downsizing can often seem like an overwhelming process. However, the act of moving into a smaller residence provides an opportunity to simplify your life and enjoy a fresh start in a new home. Whether you’re jumping on the “tiny house” trend or moving to a Greystar apartment community, follow our simple steps to make the moving process as smooth as possible.

Before the move

Before you begin packing boxes, take an inventory of what you have and start dividing your possessions into a list of what stays and what can be sold or donated. Start with one category at a time, such as clothes, kitchenware or furniture, to start the process of decluttering.

What stays: Begin by assessing what your lifestyle needs will be in your new residence and determining items that you just can’t live without. It’s helpful to know measurements of your new space to decide if your current furniture will fit, how much closet space you will have and whether or not you will be able to store all of those dishes in your new, and likely smaller, kitchen. Once you have a better idea of what you can realistically take with you, it will help you move items into the next category. If there are items that you are unsure about, consider renting a storage facility as a temporary solution. They key is to keep only the pieces you absolutely love. It’s time to get rid of the rest.

What can be sold/donated: Now is your chance to ruthlessly declutter! If there are clothes you haven’t worn in six months or books that sit around collecting dust, it’s probably time to move on. However, you don’t have to throw those items into a landfill. There are endless ways to find a new home for your used clothes and items. You can donate to a local charity or church, or make some money by selling to a consignment store. In addition to listing products on eBay and Craigslist, many cities and neighborhoods have local swap and garage sale pages on Facebook. Join a group in your current area, or utilize apps such as OfferUp to help simplify the selling process.

During the move

If you know that you won’t be able to do the move on your own, ask around for references from friends and family or research moving companies such as College Hunks Moving, PODS and Atlas Van Lines, which offer an array of customized services to take the stress out of moving. Professional organizers can also be a great resource when you’re feeling stuck.

What better time to rethink your decorating style? Start to get your creative juices flowing for some smarter and more streamlined storage solutions. Stores such as IKEA sell great items to get you on the track to storage success, and finding functional, multi-purpose furniture will help you cut down on what will take up space in your new place. For example, find a coffee table that can also store your blankets or serve as a footstool.


Boathouse – John’s Landing in Portland, OR

After the move

Now comes the fun part: finding a spot for everything. Even if you have the perfect amount of space to fit all of your possessions, we recommend utilizing space-saving tips to help accommodate additional purchases down the road. Speaking of additional purchases, if you are in the market for a few items, consider investing in pieces that will make your space feel bigger. These can be anything from large mirrors to vertical-striped rugs.

Now that you have less space to maintain, you’ll have extra time to do more of the things you love. Use your new freedom to explore the local area, grow a small garden on your patio, find a place to volunteer, or take advantage of your communities’ recreational amenities. No matter how small you’re living, the sky is the limit!

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