5 Tips for Downsizing When Moving to a Smaller Place After Retirement

Many of us have accumulated impressive quantities of what we adoringly call “stuff,” and we probably have a story that surrounds each item. We like our things and don’t want to part with them, but when downsizing and retirement approach and the move to a smaller residence is imminent, we have no choice but to categorize our items and decide what should stay and what should go.

Following are some methods to consider:

Get Organized

First, take one room at a time and mark each item as staying or going. Once they are marked, you can begin to pack the things you are going to move. The one-room-at-a-time method will make you feel better about your project as you will see progress. Special hint: Leave the kitchen until last so that you will not have to eat fast food only for a couple weeks.

Proper Materials

Moving boxes are not expensive and there are many places that sell them from big box home improvement centers to self-hauling outlets. At 99 cents per box you don’t have to worry about buying too many boxes, so stock up on a variety of sizes.

Garage/Moving Sale

According to our friends at CD One Price Cleaners, “from clothes to donations to anything that you don’t want or can’t bring with you, getting organized is hugely important.”

And after you know which items you cannot take with you, decide what you want to do with them. Sort of like a rummage sale, garage/moving sales will bring out bargain hunters, and even if you price your things quite reasonably, someone will want to get them for less. That nice dresser you marked at $50 may only bring $10, and you may have to endure a complicated haggling process to get there. Many smaller items like dishes and clothes can be effectively moved at these types of sales, however.

Estate Sale

Estate sales are usually run by third parties, and commissions are not cheap. Expect to pay 35 to 50 percent of an item’s sale price to the estate sale company. Some firms will take your pieces on a consignment basis; this means that they will only pay your percentage after an item has sold. Complaints about these services are common, because of some unscrupulous companies that hold furniture items for a long time while not paying timely commission to the sellers. An off-premise consignment center might pick up your items at no initial charge, however, because they know that they will be receiving a hefty commission.

Donate Your Large Furniture Items

Since the money you will make by selling furniture either a garage or estate sale may not ne a significant amount, consider donating your furniture to a furniture bank. These charitable organizations will gladly take your lovingly used furniture items and provide them to those that can’t afford to furnish a home or even a studio apartment in a smaller city. Whether people live in an expensive city like Toronto or other nearby suburbs, any donations are helpful! And by using a local furniture bank, you can be assured that your beloved items will live on while brightening the day of someone less fortunate than you.

Be sure to check carefully exactly which items your local furniture bank would be interested in, because they know what works and what doesn’t. These organizations are much more than furniture removal companies and working with them to improve the lives of others is a great plan for those items you just cannot use any longer.