8 Helpful Tips When Downsizing Your Home

8 Helpful Tips When Downsizing Your Home

There are times when life calls for downsizing your living space. Whether you’re an empty nester or a retiree, relocating for a job or experiencing divorce, each is a common reason for moving to a smaller home.

Before you start the downsizing process, take some time to reflect on your goals. Having a clear idea of why you are downsizing and what you hope to achieve will help you stay motivated!

Why Downsizing Matters

There are pros and cons to living in a small space. Less square footage means less to clean and maintain. It also means less storage.

The thought of downsizing and moving can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve raised a family or lived in the same home for a long time. For seniors, downsizing a home is a major life event. It’s easy to accumulate! But a new start in a smaller, more efficient home can be worth the effort.

Why Downsize?

There are many good reasons to declutter and downsize. What’s your “why?”

Accumulation: Living in a larger home can lead to an accumulation of stuff that we don’t really need or use. Downsizing to a smaller space is a golden opportunity to sort through unwanted or unnecessary items.

Cost: The bigger your home, the higher your living expenses, from utility bills to rent or mortgage payments. Downsizing can be a strategic financial move to redirect money and save on costs.

Divorce: Whether due to divorce or separation, financial situations and housing needs inevitably shift. Downsizing can be a practical response to these changes and is an opportunity to create a comfortable, secure environment during a time of personal transition.

Security: Downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home can be a wise choice during retirement years. Not only does it simplify daily living and maintenance, but it also reduces housing costs. Downsizing can provide the freedom to retire comfortably without the burden of a large home.

Fresh start: Sometimes downsizing isn’t about necessity, but simply an opportunity to embrace change. Decluttering and moving to a new space is a great way to experience a new beginning!

How and where do you begin to condense a household full of mementos, hobbies, housewares, and furniture? We’ve got helpful go-to pointers to ease the transition. Use our checklist of eight great downsizing tips for a successful moving experience!

pros and cons of moving to a smaller home

8 Great Downsizing Tips

Time It

Our number one downsizing tip is TIME. Give yourself plenty of lead time before moving to a smaller home. Sorting, organizing, reducing, and packing a household can take several months. And purging a lifetime of belongings can be emotional. So, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and pace yourself. Professional moving companies like Priority Moving provide packing and moving services to ease the stress of moves of all sizes. Book early to ensure your preferred move date.


It can be easy to get overwhelmed by a house full of belongings. So, break it down. Decluttering and sorting will be easier – and much more organized – if you take it room by room, space by space. Start with areas of the house that get the least traffic (e.g., guest room, attic, linen closet). Write out a downsizing plan; you’ll have the satisfaction of checking off rooms as you go.

Sort & Declutter

The goal is to move to your new home with only essentials and a curated collection of your most treasured items. Sort your belongings into four key groups: keep, donate, sell, toss. How to decide what to keep? If you haven’t used it in a year, it goes. Remember, the more you declutter and divest, the less you’ll need to move and fit into your new space, saving money, effort, and frustration on the other end.

Involve the Family

Make your downsize a family affair as you sort and prepare. Your idea of a thrift shop donation may be another family member’s treasured takeaway. Adult children will have to take responsibility for personal things being kept in your home. And now is a good time to give special items and mementos to loved ones you want them to have. Create a plan together and clearly delegate tasks to family members for a smooth moving experience. Communication is key!

Plan Ahead

Know your new space. Exactly how big will it be? Have a copy of the floor plan and use it to help you make decisions about what to keep, pack, and let go of. (Bonus: Knowing where the sofa fits and what is going where will make move-in day much easier.) You’re downsizing, so avoid bringing along and filling a storage unit with things you don’t need or will never use. But if your new home includes storage, use it wisely.

Sell & Donate

Sorting and organizing is hard work. But there’s potential for payback. Hold a garage sale or sell your giveaways via an online marketplace (e.g., Craigslist, eBay) to help cover moving costs. Donate gently used goods to a favorite nonprofit if you don’t have the time or if items don’t sell. 

Call the Pros

If time is of the essence or you’re leaving behind high-value items, consider using estate sale professionals. They will come to your home, appraise and make an offer for the household items you want to sell, and take over the sale process. For fragile and hard-to-pack belongings, use the packing and moving services of a licensed and insured moving company like Priority Moving. Their experienced team of movers will ensure your treasured items are moved safely and securely.

Take a Break

Our final tip is self-care! Downsizing is a BIG undertaking. Be sure to take a breath, take a break, assess, step back, and give yourself what you need to dive back in again. Before you know it, you’ll be in your new space.

There’s a lot to do with any move. Keep track of month-to-month, week-to-week tasks up to the big day with a moving checklist. (As you get closer, be sure to schedule your movers.) It’s an exciting and busy time; checklists and tips can help ease the stress.

Moving to a smaller home

How Can Priority Moving Help You Downsize?

Downsizing have you down? Priority Moving can take any overwhelming, seemingly “too big” moving job and make it small and stress-free. Our team of experienced, licensed professional movers will help you with your moving needs, from packing to moving to storage to unpacking in your new home. Priority Moving is THE go-to professional moving company in Oregon for households large and small. Whether you’re downsizing from a house to an apartment or moving from your family home to a retirement home, we’ll efficiently and safely pack your household and move you across state or across town. Get a free moving quote to help get you on your way, or call 503-544-7972 to learn more.