There are many reasons to move to a small home. Maybe you want to save money with a lower mortgage or have fewer rooms to keep clean.

Perhaps you’re an empty nester ready to settle down in a smaller place for retirement. Whatever is driving the change, you undoubtedly have some de-cluttering and downsizing to do before you move. Follow this four-step plan to help you start fresh without getting rid of useful or meaningful belongings.

1.    Start Early

When you move to a smaller home, you’re forced to decide what really matters to you. There isn’t room to take everything with you, so it helps to begin the emotional process of paring down your belongings as early as possible. A rule of thumb is to start de-cluttering at least 90 days before the move.

Assessing your furniture is a good place to start. For instance, if you’re moving from a four-bedroom home to a two-bedroom condo, you know you won’t need to take all four bedroom sets with you.

2.    Take Measurements of Your New Place

Things get a little trickier when you’re downsizing to a home with the same number of rooms but less square footage. Looking at pictures of the new space may give you an idea of whether you can fit your existing sectional or eight-seat dining room table. If you’re not sure, ask for the exact measurements. It’s easier to get rid of oversized furniture now than to haul it to the new place only to discover it doesn’t fit.

3.    Sort Everything into Four Piles

Smaller possessions leave more room for error, especially if they have sentimental value. As you sift through your belongings, place things in one of four piles—keep, sell, donate, and trash. To help you decide what’s worth keeping, follow the one-year rule. In other words, if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t really need it.

While you’re at it, get rid of redundant duplicates. Looking to make a little cash? Arrange a garage sale before you move. Donate whatever doesn’t sell, and trash anything not worth selling.

4.    Digitize Everything You Can

You can save tons of storage space by converting physical papers to digital files, from family photo albums and your grandkids’ artwork to old tax documents and receipts. There are even services that digitize old VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs onto hard drives that take up a fraction of the space. This technology makes it easy to bring your fondest memories along without taking up unnecessary space. If you’re searching for a condo or house for sale in Columbus, OH, begin your home-buying journey with Vutech | Ruff. Our knowledgeable real estate agents have years of experience providing outstanding services to residential and commercial clients. We can help you find a new place to call home in one of the best neighborhoods in Columbus! To work with our award-winning Ohio real estate company, please contact our office at 614-897-0618 today.