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Tips for Moving to a Smaller Home

Jon Fesmire | March 4, 2022 @ 7:20 AM

Many people dream of moving to a large home with all sorts of specialized rooms. We may want an office, a library, a gym, a game room, a craft room, and so on. Of course, that would be expensive and a lot of work, and at some point, many realize that a cozy home where you can do everything you love is enough.

In the middle of the covid pandemic when many lost jobs, they had to move to smaller homes. Empty nesters who don’t need bedrooms for each of their kids often decide to downsize and move into a smaller place.

Whatever your reason, these tips can help. We’ll cover moving, in general, and also specifics of downsizing.

Start With Decluttering

If your new home won’t be big enough for you and all your stuff, you’ll need to downsize your possessions, and that means decluttering. We have dozens of articles to help with this process, including How to Sell Your Old Stuff Online, which will help you get rid of some of those extras, and Alternatives to the KonMari Method, which presents a variety of methods for and philosophies about decluttering.

Let’s cover the basics. You’ll go through your stuff, one closet, shelf, or room at a time, separate out what you will keep and what you don’t need, and then get the stuff you don’t need out of your life. Options include selling, donating, recycling, or throwing things away.

Selling Your Old Stuff

As mentioned, we have an entire article on this, but we can cover the topic here, too. Anything you sell should be in new to gently-used condition. Consider if you think anyone will actually buy it, then put it up for sale on sites like eBay, Craigslist, OfferUp, or Facebook.

If it doesn’t sell in time, take down the listing and donate it. You can also run a yard sale, another topic we’ve discussed in detail is selling through yard sales. This can be an excellent way to get your old stuff into the hands of people who want it while bringing in a little extra income to help with your move.

Give Stuff Away

Here, we’re talking about donating to charities, like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, or giving things to friends. The way we suggest doing the latter is to let your friends know you’re downsizing and invite them over to look through the stuff you’re letting go of.

Anything you donate to charity can be deducted from your taxes, so keep an itemized list every time you drop off furniture, clothing, books, or anything else at a donation station.


More can be recycled than many realize. Of course, you can recycle metals, paper, and many plastics. You can also recycle electronics and sometimes wood. Contact your local recycling centers and ask what they take. If you have items you can’t donate or sell, they may take them.

Anything else will be trash you’ll have to throw away.

Rent Self Storage

After you’ve gotten rid of a lot that you don’t need, you may still have a little too much for your new place, and that’s all right. That’s the time to rent a self storage unit for things you need, but don’t need now. For many, that means off-season clothes and sports equipment, business inventory and documents, and so on.

We have listings for storage facilities across the U.S. Canada, so check them out and find a great storage location near you.

Other Steps

The above steps are the most important to think about when it comes to downsizing for a move. You’ll need to follow other moving steps as well, of course, and we have dozens of articles on the topic.

Some things to remember include:

  • Change your mailing address with USPS, friends, subscriptions, etc.

  • Register to vote through USPS when you change your address.

  • Start packing as soon as your decluttering is done.

  • Turn off your old utilities and sign up for utilities at your new location.

  • Hire movers or get friends to help you move.

  • Cancel cable and Internet at the old place, get it hooked up at the new place.

Yes, this will be a lot of work and won’t be easy, but by following these steps, you can do it. We wish you happiness in your new home.

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