Smart downsizing storage tips for a less stressful move

Whatever your reason for downsizing, it’s a process that requires careful planning and savvy storage ideas. The key to your success – and also the hardest part of the process – can be figuring out what to do with all the stuff you no longer have space for. Here are a few helpful tips.

Get a reliable layout of your new home

The first step is knowing how much room you’re going to have by obtaining a layout of your new home, with accurate measurements. Use this to make a list of all the items you’re going to take with you and the ones you’re going to get rid of.

Take note of door sizes and potentially difficult corners that might make it challenging to move large pieces of furniture in and out. If a sofa is too big for a room, it might be better to simply sell or donate it, rather than deal with the hassle of wrangling it into a smaller space.

Donate, give away, or throw away  

Now that you have a sense of what you’re going to take with you, it’s time to figure out exactly what you’re going to do with all your excess stuff. Luckily, there are a lot of options. Check with local thrift stores to see if they’ll be able to take and possibly pick up your items. Check out or the Salvation Army, which also has locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Sometimes, they have regulations about wear and tear so it’s a good idea to do your homework first.

On the Freecycle Network, you can give your items away to people who are specifically looking for them. There’s also eBay, if you’re feeling particularly entrepreneurial.

Hire someone

When you’re getting rid of belongings, it can be time consuming having to coordinate pickups and keep track of appointments and viewings. If you don’t have the time or the energy to sell or donate things on your own, you’re in luck. Services may be available in your area that will handle the heavy lifting for you. One of those is called eBay Valet, where you can get up to 80 percent of an item’s worth, depending on the selling price of the item.There’s also a site called Stuffhopper, which will send you a box you can fill with various belongings for the company to sell for you.

If you’re looking to get rid of everything, another option is hiring a company to hold an estate sale. Real estate professionals can often help you locate an estate sale company in your area.

Stop storing other people’s stuff

How much of the stuff you own is actually yours? You might not realize it, but you could be stowing away Grandma’s old heirlooms in the attic crawlspace, or your adult child’s baseball trophies and hand turkeys. Call your friends and relatives and ask them to pick up their things or help themselves to the heirlooms you’ve been storing. Politely let them know that you will be donating or getting rid of the items they fail to claim.

Rent a portable storage container

Even after tossing, donating, and selling items, you’ll most likely have items that don’t fit in your new smaller space but are too important or valuable to get rid of. Portable storage containers, such as those offered by PODS, are ideal for belongings that fall in this category.

Whereas traditional self-storage units often require you to rent a truck and make multiple trips back and forth to the self-storage facility, portable storage containers are dropped off at your home and picked up at your convenience. Some portable storage companies even offer long-distance moving, so you can have your storage container transferred wherever you need it.

Store seasonal items elsewhere

Consider using your portable storage container for storing seasonal items, such as decorations, serving dishes, roasting pan, napkins, and other holiday accoutrements.

Do you have sporting equipment that you only use part of the year? Bicycles and skis are often used only seasonally. Similarly, you may only need your backup generator and emergency supplies during hurricane season, or your winter wardrobe, space heaters, and snow shovel during the colder months.

This guest post was written by PODS®. PODS® makes moving and storage more convenient and less stressful through its innovative solution of delivering a level container and providing the customer all the time they need to load and unload their container.

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