You've finally found that house on the lake that you've always wanted. The kids will be raised and on their own in a couple years. It's time to move from your four-bedroom colonial to a two-bedroom cottage. Downsizing comes with some up-sized challenges--what to move and what to place in storage.
You know you're going to need the basics: couch, table, chairs, beds and occasional tables to sit lamps on so you can read. Your mobile and desktop devices are a no-brainer. So are most of your clothes and your kitchen and bathroom supplies. What is expendable? What can you live without while it is in storage? What can you live without permanently?
Here's How To Choose What Stays and What Goes
Get three boxes per room. One box goes with you to the cottage. One will go into storage. The last box will be for donations. Be disciplined, not sentimental. You are not allowed to put an item into a box and then take it out. First, go through closets. If you haven't worn something in a year or more, store it if you love it or if it has sentimental value. Otherwise, donate it. Dresser drawers and file cabinets are next. Go through papers and books. If you need to store tax receipts for another few years, throw them in a secure box and store them at a storage facility with all the other items you can't fit into your new home or just don't need right now. Do you really need three sets of dishes or silverware? Try to think logically about your needs.
Remember, when you are downsizing, less is more. Be systematic in your choices. You are moving from four bedrooms to two bedrooms. That is downsizing 50 percent. If you just can't part with half of your belongings, find organizers that will help you keep more in a smaller amount of space. They can make you feel well-ordered.
Elimination Frees You Up To Move Into a New Life in a New Place
Psychologically, downsizing is cathartic. Moving unnecessary clutter into new space isn't freeing. Downsizing can help you feel like you are getting a new start in life. It's the "out with the old, in with the new" mindset. There's something about a clean slate that renews the spirit. Think about that when you are deciding what to move into your new digs, what you want to put in to storage, and what you want to donate.
For assistance, talk to a moving company.