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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Jensen

Let's look again at, "Downsizing to a new home the smart way"

Re-publishing the following article because it is so important to follow these moving tips regardless of whether you're downsizing. Time and time again, I try in earnest to encourage my clients to let go of the excess before they pack, ship, and unpack their stuff in their new home. And when it comes to unpacking a gazillion boxes, I hear, "Ugh, I don't need this!" and "I have so much!". Based on my past few years of experience, I guestimate my clients pack at least 30% beyond what they need even after I've tried to motivate them to let go before and during packing. Maybe that translates into paying at least 30% more to pack and move than is really necessary. Although I do not have the data to estimate the increased costs, I guarantee you it's more than if you had simply let go of the 20 - 30% and allowed your favorite Professional Organizer (me) to coordinate donations and sales.


Downsizing to a smaller home? Read on for tips to save money when moving to a smaller home. The goal is to minimize what you pack, move, and unpack to save time and money.

1. Ask for a floor plan with measurements. If the home to which you’re moving is not able to provide a floorplan with room measurements, then make an appointment to measure the rooms of your new home. While you’re there with your handy tape measure, note the location of windows and doorways. In the kitchen, be sure to note how much cabinet and drawer space you’ll have in your new home. Also – measure and note all storage space. When you’re home, create your floorplan by handwriting on graph paper or using a free floorplan application online.

2. Measure your furniture. To make sure the furniture you would like to keep will fit into your new home, measure the height, width, depth of each piece and then plot onto the floorplan you created in tip #1, above. Now you know which pieces of furniture you can take and which pieces to give away or donate. By completing tips 1 and 2, you save on moving costs associated with packing, moving, and unpacking excess furniture that won’t fit into your new home.

3. Sort through belongings to decide what to keep, gift to family and friends, or donate:

a. Kitchen appliances, utensils, pots, pans. Pull out everything from cabinets and drawers, and sort like items with like to see the excess. Next, sort and put back what you’ll keep. When you’re done, compare the space taken by what you’re keeping against the cabinet and drawer space you noted in tip #1. If too much, then pull out more.

b. Garage tools, boxes, holiday fares. Pull out only the items in your garage you’ll need in your new, smaller home. Do you need all shovels, rakes, and brooms? How about the tools you’ve accumulated over the years – can you keep one each of pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers to move with you and gift the rest?

c. Clothing. Pull all your clothing from closets and drawers and pile on top of your bed to realize how much you’ve accumulated over the years. Sort and keep only what you’ll wear in the future.

d. Paperwork files. Check with your CPA, financial advisor, or lawyer on retention guidelines for tax, insurance, and business documentation. Sorting through boxes of paperwork now to keep only what you need reduces the cost of packing, moving, and storing paperwork. Be sure to shred the unneeded paperwork.

If you need help sorting, reach out to me or search for another Professional Organizer - one who is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing (NAPO) at . A NAPO member follows the NAPO code of ethics.

4. Select a mover. Do your research on movers; I recommend Monrovia-local Pink ( For packing, auctioning belongings, and moving coordination, I recommend Caring Transitions of the Angeles Foothills (

You can hire a Professional Organizer like me to coordinate tips 1 through 4. Give me a call at 626-826-3235, and we’ll downsize together!

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