Downsizing Your Home? 6 Simple Strategies to Make the Process Easier

Packing up your entire life is overwhelming, as you have to juggle tasks like finding movers, setting up utilities, and deep cleaning your old home. However, proper planning can make the process much smoother. Here are six simple strategies to ease your next move:

Create a Moving Timeline

Ideally, you want to break down your moving process into a room-by-room timeline of what to pack and when. About two months before your move date, order all your packing supplies like boxes, tape, markers, etc.

Maybe even rent a storage unit if needed for temporary storage solutions. One month out, you can start packing up less-frequently used areas like garage stuff, tools, decorations, and any off-season clothes or items.

The final week should be reserved just for packing up kitchens, bathrooms, and other daily-use items.

Use a Moving Binder

From the moment you know you’ll be moving, get yourself a dedicated binder just for move-related papers and lists. Print out estimates from moving companies, copies of any contracts, new utility account details, and so on.

As you start packing, make room-by-room inventory lists of what’s in each box. This helps you stay organized and ensures everything makes it to the new place. Refer to this binder constantly and keep it with you at all times. It’s your moving bible.

Declutter First

A couple of months before you even think about packing, do a full-house decluttering blitz. Go through every single room, closet, drawer, nook and cranny. You’d be amazed at how much stuff you accumulate over the years that you simply don’t need anymore.

If you’re just holding onto stuff “just in case,” most likely that case will never come. Get rid of duplicates, outdated papers, and magazines you’ve been hanging onto, old toiletries and makeup, chipped mugs, etc.

The less you actually own and have to pack up, the easier your life will be on move day.

Clearly Label Boxes

Don’t just slap on vague labels like “bedroom” or “kitchen.” Use a clear, consistent labeling system on every single box. Something like “MB” for the master bedroom, “K” for the kitchen, “LR” for the living room, etc.

You should also consider putting one room’s entire contents in that room’s dedicated set of boxes. It makes unpacking so much faster when you can easily identify what needs to go where.

Pack an Essentials Box

In those chaotic first couple of days in your new place, you’ll want easy access to a few key essentials while you’re still unpacking. Put together one dedicated clear plastic bin or box for this purpose.

Toss in disposable plates, cups, and utensils. Stock it with toiletries, basic tools, snacks, a change of clothes for each person, pet items, and some basic cleaning supplies.

This essentials box should be one of the last things loaded onto the moving truck so you can grab it first when you arrive at your new home.

Schedule Utilities and Mail

Roughly two weeks prior to your move date, get on the phone or online to schedule disconnection of utilities like electricity, gas, water, cable/internet at your old place.

At the same time, arrange for all those services to be activated at your new address a day or two before your move-in date. Don’t forget to submit an official change of address to USPS to forward your mail.

Make a Smooth Transition

The key to making any move easier is planning and organization. Start preparing as early as possible, declutter like crazy, create a timeline and labeling system, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from professional movers.