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What to Do with Your Belongings When You Downsize

We love our stuff! Many people are fortunate enough to have more than they need, yet when the time comes to move to a New York City apartment – or just to a smaller house, we just can’t seem to get rid of enough. Should you keep it, toss it, put it in storage or sell it? We’d like to help you plan what to do with your belongings, so your new home does not end up looking like a furniture showroom or an antique bric-a-brac dealer.

The first thing to do is understand the scope of your downsizing project. Get measurements of the primary rooms in your new home. Then, you can either measure your current living space or measure the furniture. This will let you know how many pieces you can comfortably fit into each room. Perhaps you may need to purchase a smaller sofa or a new dining table.

You should also take photos of your new home. There are likely styles or colors that need to be considered. A modern kitchen, new carpeting color, or leave-behind gorgeous window treatments could affect the items you put in these rooms. Give yourself ample time to plan for the major changes you anticipate – such as purchasing a new bedroom set to fit into your new master bedroom.

Once you have a plan, you can begin organizing your belongings. Sort your items into four groups:

  1. Keep (and pack)
  2. Sell
  3. Purge
  4. Store

Before purging or selling anything, be sure to appraise jewelry or household items such as clocks, figurines, or china. You may find a hidden treasure!

Purging is often the most difficult part of downsizing. The question you need to ask yourself is: Is this [item] worth keeping? The reality is that some items might not be worth the cost of storing. Be as practical as you can when you take on this task.

Many of your purge items can move into the sell pile. If possible, have a yard sale or sell items online. Consider donating the items leftover from the sales to an organization you choose.

So, by now you have:

  • Determined which household items you cannot live without and packed them (or staged them to be packed).
  • Pared down your wardrobe and weeded out your children’s outgrown clothes and donated these items to your favorite charity.
  • Cleared out the garage and basement and sold extra tools and yard equipment – particularly if you’re moving to New York City!
  • Determined which items and furniture you cannot part with, but they just won’t make it in your new home. These are items that have dollar value and sentimental value – perhaps a piece of furniture that has been in your family for a few generations that you’re saving for a child. This is your storage pile.

If you’re moving in the New York tri-state area, Serenity Movers’ secure, climate controlled storage facility is nearby. Instead of paying for a unit that will only be half full, our pricing structure is based on the actual cubic feet needed to store your belongings. We can help you. Take a look at our Storage FAQs to find answers on insurance, packing, accessing items, and security. Then request a free storage quote. or call us to speak to a storage expert.

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