The biggest challenge to this move is that we are having to downsize from our present 4000+ sf, 2 story w/ finished basement, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 3 car garage on a 1/2 acre lot to a 1200 sf, 2nd floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, one car garage condo... 32 years of accumulated 'stuff' is a lot stuff!! But you know what they say about how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And that is exactly my approach to this task as well.
I started with my trusty 'With House In Hand' planner/organizer. It's the same one I bought 28 years ago when we were building our first home. I've used it each and every time we've moved to help figure out where our furniture will go before the actual move. With every furniture or accessory purchase I cut out new templates for the new stuff and purge any of the old pieces. This move is no different, so I just drew out all of the spaces in the condo and started to decide what could stay, what needed to go and what needed to be replaced.
Examples of what will stay: we have two twin beds in one of the bedrooms here. I always wanted a guest room with two beds, and these are a recent purchase that I really like. The head and foot boards are iron and the mattresses are super comfortable. I like the versatility of two twins - you can leave them separate or push them together for a nice king. They will stay and work well in the guest bedroom at the condo. We also have 7 cherry bookshelves in our current library that will fit perfectly in the third bedroom at the condo (which will be our den). I have a powder coated baker's rack with tile serving area that I love, and I've decided that this will fit perfectly on the covered deck as a serving piece/plant rack.
What needs to go is a lot of stuff! Years and years of memories and collections. And family things. Including a pool table, fooz ball table, Nordic Track, a whole set of leather furniture from the current family room, a dining room set, lots of deck furniture (we're going from a monster deck of about 800 sf to a modest 10 x 10), our 12' Christmas tree, closets full of clothes, tools, pictures, books, and on and on... We've already started this process by selling our third car (bye bye Mini Cooper) and our riding lawn mower. We replaced the large zero-turning mower with a push mower now that we're retired and have the time to push mow. We figure we can sell the push mower easily when it's time to move. Also in the same category is a ton of lawn/garden stuff, including a snow blower, leaf blower, edger, etc.
And things that need to be replaced include our current master bedroom suite which is WAY too big for the condo master. While this makes me sad (I LOVE our current set), I know that I would hate the crowded feeling of jamming all the pieces into a too-small space, so the set will have to be replaced. I'm sure we'll find someone who will love it the way we do. Also on the list of replacements is a new dining room set - the one we have in the condo is an antique that has outlived its usefulness for us and is ready to make someone else happy - and the one we have here is country white, which will be a tough match for the ebony arts and crafts style cabinetry in the new kitchen. I'm hoping to get a simple craftsman style table and chairs and hutch that will fit the bill for us.
So little by little, room by room, we are looking at everything with a more critical eye. The whole process is good for us, and also good for others...lol...I have a list of a dozen or so charities that have gotten donated clothes, books, knickknacks and furniture from us already, and we've still got lots to go. I've also gotten good at selling on eBay - a nice way to get rid of things you know you have value, particularly if they are small and easily shipped.
My plan is to declutter and downsize first, all the while separating what will go with us to Columbus and what can stay here to be sold. At some point, we'll get an auctioneer in to get rid of the furniture and appliances that are not practical to sell on eBay or Craigslist.
Like you eat an elephant...one bite at a time...
Are you a 'saver'? How do you go about downsizing and/or decluttering? What's your best advice for making this job easier?