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Moving to a Smaller Home: How to Downsize Effectively

Moving to a smaller home can be a daunting task. Downsizing to a smaller living space means sorting though and letting go of furnishings and belongings it took years to accumulate, some of which may hold sentimental value. The truth is, while downsizing does require some careful pre-move planning, it doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. Downsizing can actually be quite liberating, as it forces you to let go of excess items and focus on the things that truly matter.

All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped countless professionals, families and seniors seamlessly downsize to smaller homes and apartments. If you’re considering downsizing, you’ll discover tips below from our moving experts to help you do so effectively.

Assessing Your Needs

The first step in downsizing is assessing your needs. Before you can begin to sort through your belongings, you need to carefully consider what you will need in your new home. Assessing your current home is a good starting point. Take note of the items that you use frequently and those that you haven't touched in years. This will help you determine what items will be essential to bring along with you to your new home. You will need to find space in your new home for the items you can’t live without, such as your clothing, kitchen essentials, and most prized or sentimental belongings.

Sorting Your Belongings

Once you've assessed your needs, it's time to start sorting through your belongings. This can be a difficult task, as it requires you to let go of things that you may have held onto for years. It is essential that you leave yourself ample time for this process! Sorting through all your possessions is time-consuming and should not be rushed. In fact, rushing this process will add stress to your move and can make the downsizing process unnecessarily chaotic.

At All Jersey Moving & Storage, we recommend beginning to sort through your belongings a few months before moving, to allow yourself time to sell or give away items you determine you no longer want or need. Getting an early start will also ensure you have sufficient time to pack the furniture and belongings you wish to keep in a careful and organized manner. By tackling this project in bit by bit, instead of rushing to sort through all your possessions the week before moving day, you will avoid burn out.

When sorting through your belongings, it's helpful to create piles of items to keep, donate, or sell. You will also likely find items that can simply be thrown away. Deciding what to keep is often the most difficult part of downsizing. It's important to focus on the items that are truly meaningful to you and that you use frequently. Letting go of excess items can be liberating, as it will free up space in your new home and allow for a truly fresh start.

Selling, Donating, or Discarding Items

Once you have sorted through all your belongings, it's time to decide what to do with them. Selling items you no longer want, need or have space for is a good way to make some extra cash. This is especially true for items that are in good condition. You can sell furniture, toys, decorative items and other belongings using online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. If the weather permits and you have the time, you can also hold a content or garage sale. Be sure to post your furniture and belongings for sale well in advance of moving day, so you can hold out for the best, most competitive bids.

Donating items is also a great option, as it allows you to give back to your community while freeing up space in your new home. Some charitable organizations will even pick up the furniture from your home, which is convenient in the busy weeks before moving day. If you’re donating items to a recognized non-profit organization, you’ll be able to write off the donation on your income tax return, resulting in a possible savings on your tax bill at the end of the year. Make sure you receive a receipt for your contribution to include with your tax documents. 

Throwing furniture and other belongings in the trash should be a last resort, as it's not the most environmentally friendly option. However, for items that are beyond repair or use, it may be necessary to dispose of them. For especially bulky items, you may have to arrange for a special pick up with your town or city.

Lastly, you may have items you can’t bring with you to your smaller new living space, but that you aren’t prepared to let go of! Items such as inherited furniture or artwork may hold too much sentimental or monetary value to simply sell or give away. In these cases, you may wish to place certain belongings in short or long term storage. All Jersey Moving & Storage has an immaculate containerized storage facility in New Jersey where many individuals and families who have downsized keep treasured furniture and belongings until they determine what to do with them.

Maximizing Space in a Smaller Home

One of the greatest challenges of moving to a smaller home is maximizing your living space. It can be challenging to adjust to a much smaller home after you have become accustomed to living in a much larger space. However, there are many ways to make the most of your new space. There may be rooms in which it makes sense to invest in city-sized furniture, uniquely designed for smaller rooms. Arranging furniture strategically can make a tremendous difference in a small space. Shifting the position of furniture can improve the flow and functionality of your living areas. Utilizing storage solutions, such as under-bed storage or built-in shelving, can also help maximize space.

Tips for organizing smaller spaces include using vertical space, such as stacking shelves, and utilizing multi-functional furniture, such as a bed with built-in drawers. You can also maximize your space by decluttering your home, strategically utilizing mirrors, using furniture with exposed legs, painting your walls in lighter colors and making the most of corners. These small changes can make all the difference in a smaller home.

Setting Yourself Up for Success on Moving Day

The greatest way to set yourself up for success on moving day is to ensure you begin packing well before moving day. Residential moving experts at All Jersey Moving recommend beginning to pack at least a month before your scheduled move. There is no way around it - packing is a time-consuming, tiring task. If you want unpacking in your smaller new home to be seamless, you need to pack in strategic, methodical fashion. First, ensure you have all the packing supplies you need, including sturdy boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, bubble wrap, etc. Mark each box clearly, noting its destination (example: “kitchen”, “master bedroom”, etc.) as well as a summary of its contents. This will allow for greater organization as you begin to unpack in your new home. If you don’t have the time or ability to pack, you can hiring professional movers to assist with partial or complete packing and unpacking.

Another important step to take to ensure a successful move is to hire a team of professional movers. All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped countless families downsize to smaller homes and apartments locally and long-distance. We have the expertise and equipment necessary to ensure your belongings arrive safely and on schedule at your new home. Working with reputable movers will give you peace of mind that your home and belongings are in good hands, and that your move will be completed according to schedule.

Once you have found a reputable moving company to help you downsize, act quickly to secure your preferred moving day. This is especially important in the spring and summer – peak moving months. While All Jersey Moving & Storage strongly advises booking your move in advance, we do our utmost to accommodate last-minute moving requests as well as weekend moves. Be sure to get a detailed estimate and sign a contract with your movers in advance, so you are protected and there are no surprises (or no shows!) on moving day.

Adjusting to Your New Lifestyle

Unpacking and settling into your new home can be overwhelming, but taking the time to organize your belongings can make a big difference. It's important to take it one room at a time and to make sure that everything has a designated place. This is especially important when downsizing to a smaller living space. When your belongings are well-organized and effectively stored, your smaller living space will appear more spacious. If you a short on time and eager to feel settled in your new home, you may want to consider unpacking services.

Adjusting to a smaller home can be a challenge, but it's important to embrace the change. Finding joy in a smaller home can be easy if you focus on the positives, such as the reduced maintenance and lower expenses. Getting involved in the community is also a great way to adjust to your new lifestyle and to make new friends. Be sure to personalize your living space with your favorite works of art, photos of friends and families, and keepsakes from your travels. Another way to maximize enjoyment in a smaller home is to capitalize on your outdoor living spaces, such as your porch or backyard.

Your Partners in Downsizing: All Jersey Moving & Storage

As one of New Jersey’s most trusted professional moving companies, we have helped countless individuals, seniors and families downsize to smaller homes and apartments locally and long-distance. A moving company with decades of residential moving experience, we focus on delivering exceptional service whatever the season. If you want or need to schedule a move this spring or summer, we will do our best to accommodate your needs and date preferences.

All Jersey Moving and Storage has proudly served the New Jersey community since 1992. We are one of fewer than twenty moving and storage services companies in New Jersey who have earned the “Circle of Excellence” designation from the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association. This designation is awarded to a moving company that goes above and beyond the industry standard. We are committed to helping individuals and families execute seamless moves so they can focus on adjusting to life in their new homes.

The professional moving and storage services we offer include:

*Short and long term storage

*Packing and unpacking

*Senior moving

*Office and commercial moving

*Antique moving

*Piano moving

*Last minute moving

Are you considering downsizing or already planning your move to a smaller home or apartment?

Contact us today for a complimentary quote or to schedule your summer or fall move. We’ll do our best to make your move seamless so you can focus on enjoying your new home.