Downsizing is never easy. Some friends lived in a large house in Littleton for 5 years and decided to move to a smaller one. Grandparents these days are giving up their houses for more convenient and smaller apartments. No matter the circumstance, once the decision has been made it can get overwhelming to think about what to do with all the stuff we accumulate over the years so here is a check list to help you downsize or even just clean out.

1. Start early. Waiting for the week before the move never works. Our crew arrived to move an elderly lady in Ft. Collins and she hadn’t started packing. She was still going through stuff trying to decide whether or not to keep it. The day of the move is not a good time for that.

2. Set a rule for yourself on what to keep and what to donate or throw. A customer in Arvada stated that if it hasn’t been used in a year out it goes. This way all the holiday stuff still stays but the extra large casserole dish you bought that one time for a special party you haven’t used since can go.

3. Designate an area for all the donations, all the trash etc and then set a date and haul it all at once. There are several organizations that will pick up donations so you might not even have to haul it at all.

4. If you are getting ready to move, pack as you go. Have one box for keeping and one box for donating. Go room by room and focus on one room at a time. If you keep leaving the area you are working on, it is to easy to get distracted.

5. Do a little everyday. I had one customer in Denver that told me she set aside 1 to 2 hours a day during the week and a block of 4 hours on the weekend to go through things and pack.

6. Call your kids. You know all the boxes in your basement you have been holding on to for them? This is a great time to have them do a little cleaning out of their own.

Even if you are just in the beginning stages of contemplating moving or downsizing start now! It will make your life easier and less stressful when moving day actually comes.