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While downsizing is a wise move as you get older and need less space, it can also create a lot of additional stress. Suddenly you have to fit a lifetime’s worth of things into a much smaller space. Picking and choosing what to keep and what to get rid of is a challenge, but it will be worth it when you’re comfortable in your new home.

Figure out what you really use daily. Many of us fall into the trap of holding onto items we only use on special occasions. When it comes to downsizing, there just won’t be as much storage room for items that are only used once in a blue moon. It’s better to choose the items you love most and use them all the time instead of saving them.

Sell and donate as much as you can. You are probably downsizing to save money, and this presents an opportunity to sell off items that are still valuable, but you never use anymore. Not only will you be giving something a second life, you’ll be adding more money to the pocketbook. It’s also the best time to donate items that aren’t particularly worth much but can still be used by someone in need.

Take measurements. When it comes to keeping large items of furniture in your new smaller home, first you need to make sure they will actually fit. Take measurements of the door frame and all the rooms so you know just how much space you’re actually working with. It’s much easier to let go of something now than to try and move it in on moving day only to find out it’s not going to work in the new space.

Ask for help. While you might not want to inconvenience your friends and family with a big move, the reality is that most of them will be more than happy to help. And if they live in a different city, you can still make your big move easier by hiring help.

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