Downsizing Checklist: Steps To Staying Organized While Moving

October 14, 2022

Maybe your kids have grown up and moved out, perhaps you’re seeking a smaller place with fewer responsibilities, or maybe you want to save money. You’ve decided to downsize, and you’re looking for the most efficient way to do it before you move.

As the years go by, we accumulate more and more belongings; clothes that don’t fit, furniture that’s out of style, and electronics that don’t work. But if you’re moving into a smaller home, you’ll need to shorten that list. 

Getting rid of clutter can be therapeutic. But it’s also a lot of work! With this checklist, you can speed up the process and make your move a breeze. Let’s get started:


Set Up a Schedule

The first step is figuring out your timeline. Once you know exactly how long you have to downsize, you can spread out the work over the coming weeks. 

The owner of Globe Property Management writes, “Work backward from your moving date. For example, imagine you have three weeks until you move. If you started today, you could spread out the work, so you have multiple weekends to do it.”

The sooner you get started, the better! You’ll have enough on your plate come moving day—don’t make downsizing another thing to stress about.


One Room at a Time

Don’t worry: You don’t have to do everything all at once. You’ve got plenty of time to get things sorted. Rather than trying to tackle your entire house in one day, you can divide and conquer, taking it one room at a time.

It’s best to start with a room you’ll need the least; for example, the dining room. From there, you can gradually work toward the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. Try to tackle one room each time you work on downsizing. 

Do you have family photo albums or books that you don’t want to part with? Consider converting photos into digital files or buying an eReader to save on storage space.


Taking Inventory

Before you start getting rid of things, find out exactly what you’ll need in your new place (and what you should part ways with). 

Here’s a good trick: Take inventory of all the items and furniture you plan to keep. Then, take this list to your new home, and try to visualize where it would fit. Running out of room? Then you know you need to let go of a few more belongings. 


Make a Plan for Extra Items

Once you start downsizing, you realize there’s a lot you need to sell, donate, and/or get rid of. 

The next step is deciding what you’ll do with these items. You can sort them into three general categories:

  • To donate. Many charities and businesses in Manitoba will accept donated clothes and furniture. If you need to have your belongings picked up, contact Oyate Tipi or the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg

  • To sell. Reduce your moving costs by selling your belongings. Try Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. 

  • To get rid of. There are some things that you just can’t donate or sell. You’ll need to call a junk removal service or use a truck to get rid of them. Try to recycle as much as you can to reduce your carbon footprint.

When you’re packing belongings, label each box with its intended purpose; to donate, sell, or throw away. 


Wrapping Up

With a checklist like this, downsizing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You’re ready to tackle downsizing efficiently and break it down step-by-step. By dividing up the work, you’ll have plenty of time to downsize before moving day.