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Are you thinking about downsizing your home? You’ll likely have many questions as you work your way through your downsizing project. Whether you are clearing the clutter or reducing your living space in half, here are some helpful tips to make the process easier and more effective.


Even if you won’t be moving for another 6 months or longer, there is no time like the present to get your plan in place. Many people wait too long to get started and before you know it, the moving date is right around the corner.
If you want to commit to a moving plan, start by writing it down. Make appointments with yourself and keep them. Get a notebook to keep your calendar, downsizing lists and all other move-related information in one spot.



You can’t make a cake without flour and a pan. Just like baking a cake, making a downsizing move without the proper tools won’t get you very far. Here are some suggestions of tools you can stock up on before you get started:

Colored labels, sticky notes or dots: These will help you label furniture and other items as you go. In your notebook, write out your labeling plan with color coding to help you stay organized and consistent.
A simple plan might look like this:

  • Items you are keeping and will move with you.
  • Items you are gifting to friends and family (be sure to write their name on the tag).
  • Items that will go to donation, disposal, or consignment.

Garbage Bags: These will help you sort and organize items that are not going with you.

  • For items going to the trash, use big black trash bags.
  • For items going to donation, use tall white kitchen bags (clothing, linens, etc.).
  • For small items, use Ziplock bags and label where they go
  • For recycling and shredding, use paper bags and label them in large letters with either SHRED or RECYCLE. You can also use boxes but make sure they don’t get too heavy.

Plastic Storage Totes: These will help you sort and store the items you plan to keep.
Choose clear totes that are not too large and the same size for easy stacking.
Moving Cartons: Purchase packing materials from a truck rental or home improvement
store. Use typical sized moving cartons for safer transport and better stacking.
Tools: These will help get things done faster. Marking pens, scissors, packing tape and blue painters tape are good tools to have handy.

Pick a Room and Start: Set realistic goals of how much you can do at one time. For most people, a 3 hour downsizing session is about right before it becomes too hard to continue to make decisions. Be kind to yourself-use a chair while sorting. Keep your donation box, garbage bags and shred & recycling bags close by. Have your notebook available to record donation items or listing items you plan to give to people. Once you start on an area, finish it before moving on to the next area. Don’t start multiple areas at once, this will just make many small messes all over the home.

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Downsizing is a daunting project, both physically and mentally. The longer you have lived somewhere, the longer it will take to go through the stuff you’ve accrued over the years.

There are many move management companies that specialize in working with people to assist them with a downsizing move. Please feel free to contact me at 206-914-9989 or m.alejandrino@windermere.com if you are interested in a recommendation based on your area.