There are a lot of people choosing to downsize into a smaller home in Berks County these days, and for a lot of reasons. Maybe you have an empty nest and just don't need all that extra space to care for. Or maybe you just can't afford to stay comfortably in your larger home. Maybe maintaining your home is just taking up too much of your time.

If you feel the need to downsize, doing so can have many benefits. You can get rid of things you really don't need, and you can lower your utility bills. Moving into a smaller home with require you to think about your priorities and get rid of things you don't need. In essence, you will be living a more simple life.

If you plan to buy a smaller home in Berks County, de-cluttering and preparing can be intimidating. Here are a few tips that can help take out some of the stress.

Be Strategic

Figuring out where your larger items will go in your new home is the first step. If you can get a floor plan of your new home, you can map out what items will fit and what won't. Even better, you can download an app that can help make laying out your furniture much easier.

As they say, measure twice, cut once. This applies to laying out furniture as well. When you lay everything out, you can get rid of items you don't need before the move, making the actual move more simple.

If there are rooms in your current home that you won’t have at all in your new home, get rid of everything from those if you can. For example, if you’re not going to have a guestroom, start eliminating the items in your current guestroom first.

Take Inventory

As you already know, you are going to have to get rid of things to fit into your new home. And this is one of the benefits of downsizing.

Start by taking inventory of what you have versus what you need. You can begin weeding out the things you’re certain you want to get rid of, such as duplicate items.

Start Small

Starting small can keep you from becoming overwhelmed. You can start with smaller areas such as the laundry room or perhaps a small closet. Don’t start with your garage or your basement first, as those can be the biggest projects to take on.

Start Clearing Things Out

Now that you have a good idea of how much space you'll have in your new home for your things, now it's time to start getting things out of your hair.

Create four piles for your items. And none of these piles will be "maybes." Don't give yourself the option.

The first pile will be giveaways. These are the things you’re going to give to family and friends. Don't go overboard on this pile, as your friends and family may not want all that stuff.

The next pile will be donations. If something is in bad shape, don’t put it in the donate pile because it probably won’t be accepted.

Your third pile can be more valuable items that you plan to sell.

Finally, your fourth pile heads to the dump.

Find Help

Downsizing can be an emotional experience. It's natural to get attached to things. So try to get help from a friend who isn't attached to those items. You have to think logically about what you keep and don't keep, and what works best in your new home.

If you're really having a hard time parting with things, get your friend to decide for you. But you need to resist the urge to micromanage what they give away or throw away.

You also need to make the process go as fast as possible. The more time you have to think about things, the more reasons you'll find to keep them.

Moving into smaller home and simplifying your life can be emotional, but it can be well worth the effort if you do it right.

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