Don’t Agonize, Downsize!

January 17, 2011

By Ranka Burzan

Tips for Downsizing from Your Family Home to a Smaller Place

Moving from a family home, parting with belongings, treasures and a lifetime of memories can be among the most stressful events that you face as an adult. It can be an emotional and frustrating time for the whole family. A time to make tough decisions: what to do first, what to take, what to sell or donate, who is getting what and why. The list is a mile long, your energy level may be low and it may seem like it’s all too much to handle.

Then there is the challenge of moving day, getting boxes and other supplies ready and living out of boxes for days or weeks is bound to feel stressful. You may feel all alone even though you may be surrounded by family and friends. You may have lost your lifetime partner and need to relocate to a smaller space.

Even the healthiest and most independent person may find this transition overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. For individuals whose families live in another city, province or even another country, this challenge is compounded by sadness and feeling alone. Although you have made a decision to move to a smaller residence and successfully took the first step in the moving process, it will not be your hardest decision. Oftentimes, the new residence is much smaller and can’t hold all of your furniture, dishes, bedding and pictures. When you discover how much work and energy is needed you may be inclined to change your mind or put things off.

Transitioning to a new home doesn’t have to be a frustrating and overwhelming event. With a little planning and preparation it can turn into a celebration, a fresh start.


  • Involve your family and friends in the moving process as much as possible.
  • Get professional help if family and friends are unable to help.
  • Allow time to reminisce and say goodbye to your belongings.
  • Get started on the process of sorting and purging in increments of 15 minutes.
  • Start with areas that have less emotional attachment: bathrooms,garages, sheds etc.
  • Draw a floor plan of the new residence to see what furniture and accessories will fit.
  • Donate extra belongings to a favourite charity.
  • Avoid renting public storage for the things that will never be used or needed.
  • Get your family together and celebrate a new chapter in your life.

Practical Questions to Ask Yourself:
How much do I need to have a comfortable life? Which of my possessions are important to me? Will my furniture and accessories fit in my new place? What would I like to give to family/friends?

Practical Solutions:

  • Take pictures of the items you treasure, donate them to your favourite charity or in the case of really special items, family members. Remember though; don’t turn your clutter into someone else’s clutter!
  • Sell items that are worth money and use the money for a nice vacation. Have a party with your family and friends.
  • Avoid keeping heavy or very fragile things.
  • Ask family or professionals to help you.

About the Author: Ranka Burzan is the owner of Solutions Organizing Simple, a professional organizing company and the author of Helpful Hints to Organize and Clean your Home, Your Junk or Your Life, Liberate Your Garage, Clear Your Home, Clear Your Mind and a recent published book S.O.S Guide to Organize and Clean Your Home.

Ranka & family have also created their own line of non-toxic, all natural cleaners safe for your family and pets.

For more information regarding Solutions Organizing Simple services, articles, newsletters and cleaning products visit her web site

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