Helpful Hacks for Downsizing

August 09, 2023 | Blog | Reading Time 3:00 Minutes

The Outcome Makes the Work Worthwhile

It’s a challenging means to a worthy end.

Downsizing for a move is widely considered to be among the most stressful processes in our lives. This is especially true for people who have lived in their homes for 20, 30, 40, or even 50 or more years.

Yet it is also, ultimately, among the most fulfilling projects.

Seniors often downsize (also known as rightsize) with the thought of moving to a senior living community.  There, they’ll be free of the burdens of home ownership and maintenance and able to enjoy a vibrant lifestyle.

Addressing the Task at Hand

But before that happens, there’s the actual task at hand.

Hacks are defined as “a strategy for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently,” so, in other words, they are great ideas for making a chore easier and quicker. 

Hacks for Efficient Downsizing

The following are some ‘hacks’ for downsizing to make the process more efficient.

  1. Write down your plan of attack. Decide what steps need to be accomplished leading up to your goal of successfully downsizing and assign time frames for achieving these steps.
  2. Try a 30-day challenge such as this one from It breaks tasks down into workable pieces. Or try making yourself get rid of a set number of items each day. And, unlike most New Year’s resolutions, keep to it.
  3. Break things down into categories, i.e., one room at a time, etc. Tidying expert/author Marie Kondo’s KonMari method breaks categories down into clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.
  4. If you’re moving, have a floor plan of your new space with dimensions so that you can visualize how your items will look and fit in your new home.
  5. Use the four-box method of sorting. Label four boxes as either trash, donate, keep, or store.
  6. Plan packing supplies ahead of time.
  7. When assessing sentimental belongings, consider repurposing or altering them. For instance, upload photographs to your computer and rid yourself of the print copies. Integrate favorite shirts and fabric items into a quilt or wall hanging. Think of other creative ways to repurpose.
  8. Be More with Less blog recommends starting with the easiest decisions for donating or trashing right off. These include duplicates, items bought ‘just in case’ but never needed, things that make you feel bad, and stuff you don’t use (i.e., uncomfortable shoes or clothes that have never quite fit and probably won’t). Another way of assessing whether or not to keep an item is by asking yourself, ‘Would you buy it again, given the chance?’
  9.  The Tannehill Homestead blog recommends being ruthless if necessary, or at least honest, saying, “Be sure the things you keep deserve the space they need.”
  10.  Don’t keep things, assuming your children or grandchildren will treasure them. Talk to family members before you start the process. notes that your adult children might not treasure their baby clothes that you have tucked away. Give them a ditch-by date to make their decisions and pick up what they want to keep.
  11. also recommends that you adopt a one-in, one-out policy. For every item you buy, get rid of a similar item you already own.
  12. Toss or recycle broken items. If you haven’t gotten it fixed by now, are you honestly going to? Probably not, so you can probably do without it.

It’s Worth the Work

The important takeaway is that despite the toll that downsizing may take on you, the end result is worth it. Downsizing victors report that they feel satisfied and empowered by their massive effort. And very happy in their new homes.

Shipley Living Partners with LivNow Relocation to Ease the Transition

To help ease the process, Shipley Living has partnered with LivNow Relocation. The company provides an impressive array of service offerings for all aspects of moving. These include downsizing, selling a home, the physical move, and more.

Shipley Living has partnered with this organization because of our dedication to helping new residents overcome the hurdle of moving so that they can quickly enjoy their new home.