What Can I Do When Items Won’t Fit in My New Place?


Credit: Downsizing Diva

It has been over 20 since you have lived in your current home. With your children slowly moving out one by one, the thought of downsizing comes up. Maybe it is time for you and your wife to move to a smaller space for a better lifestyle. Preparing to move out of a house you have lived in for over 20 years would probably mean you have lots to clean out. But what can you do if really can’t bring it with you to your new home?

There are three things you can do with items that will not fit in your new home:

  1. Sell it
  2. Give it away
  3. Store it

Sell it

There is a saying that states what you think is worth money, often isn’t and what you think is junk, may be worth something. The only way to go around this is to find interested buyers and find out what they are willing to pay.

  • Ask about an auction sale: send items to auction is an easy and convenient way to deal with your treasures. An Auction House sorts, packs and picks up your items (cartage charges apply) and transports it to a main location for a regularly-scheduled sale. The amount you get depends on who shows up for the auction and what they are interested in purchasing.
  • Consider a contents sale: Contents Sale is similar to a garage sale, but is held in your house and conducted by someone else. The cost is usually based on commission split so it would be to everyone’s advantage to sell your items for as much as possible.
  • Deal with a dealer: dealers visit your house, look at items you want to sell and make you an offer. Dealers know some of your stuff will sell and some will not. The price the dealer offers allows him/her to make a profit and you to get rid of your stuff fast. If the offer includes a complete clear out of your house, you will not be faced with cartage and disposal costs.
  • Go with a garage sale: garage sales are time-consuming, labour-intensive, weather-dependent and require you to negotiate the selling cost of your stuff.
  • Investigate the internet: you can post items for donation or sale at little or no cost on a variety of websites like eBay, craigslist, or Kijiji. You just need is time and a bit of tech savviness.

Give it away

If you are looking to give away good, useful items, you can look into giving them to a community agency or organization.

  • Garage sale fund raisers: look into community garage sales. Check your local newspaper for advance notice of these sales and reach out to the group in advance. There is a big chance they are still looking for things to sell and would be pleased to receive your donation.
  • Not-for-profit thrift stores: Salvation Army, Goodwill and local charitable organizations sell items at a practical price for those in need. Ensure that everything is complete, clean and in a good condition. Be a generous giver and donate things you are not going to move to your new home.
  • Family shelters: consider donating extra items (bed linens, towels, cutlery, dishes, pillows, small appliances, tables and chairs) to local shelters to help families who have lost their homes. Community Shelters provide a safe, supportive environment and services may include counseling, child care, community liaison/referrals, food, transportation, medical assistance, support and advice.
  • Last resort, the end of your driveway: this may be the easiest option. It is sometimes surprising how quickly your “trash” can become someone else’s “treasure.” If it isn’t picked up by passersby, check with your garbage collection service to see when and if they will pick it up.

Store it

Downsizing is a challenge and people often end up going to their nearest storage unit. Storage units are used to contain items you want, use and need. If used properly, they should be organized and would be a good investment. Renting storage space will only allow you to avoid making decisions on what to dispose of or donate.

Think twice about renting a storage unit. It can be really tempting to use storage units as an alternative to downsizing. It is so much more easier to store your unwanted and unneeded stuff in a room that is clean, heated and secured.

Using your storage space properly

If you really have no choice but to rent a storage unit, learn how to maximize the benefits of it.

Be ruthless about items you are considering to store.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will I really use it again?
  • Am I ever going to get around refinishing or reupholstering this furniture?
  • Or am I scared to let my stuff go?
Take inventory of each box or container.
  • Take note of where each box is located in the storage unit so that everything is accessible.
  • Look into purchasing boxes of the same size and some shelving units to maximize vertical and horizontal space.
  • If you have not visited your storage unit in one year, it is time to reassess the need for the stuff that is being stored.

Now that you have gone through the options you can take to help you downsize, what will your choice be? Take on the downsizing challenge head on and sell, give or store your items; make the sensible choice for a comfier life.

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