Family packing up boxes

The 3-Ds of Downsizing


Deciding What to Keep

  • Get the exact measurements of your new apartment.  
  • Measure the furniture that you would like to keep for your new apartment.
  • Create a diagram of your new apartment floor plan using graph paper.
  • On a separate sheet of graph paper, cut out squares that represent the size of each piece of furniture that you would like to move and label each piece.
  • Place the furniture cut outs on the floorplan diagram to confirm that the furniture will fit in your new apartment. Contact family and friends to take furniture that you will not be taking to your new apartment. Set a deadline of 30 days to remove the furniture.
  • Donate or sell furniture that was not removed.


  • Set a goal of cleaning out at least one closet or cabinet per day. Do not think about what is left to declutter, only focus on the task at hand.
  • Have an ample supply of trash bags and boxes.
  • Completely empty the cabinet/closet, separating items into three piles. Decide if you need to keep the item, sell/donate the item, or throw the item away. As you come across items that may have sentimental value to your family members, set those aside to allow them to decide the items that they would like to keep or throw away.
  • Find an area to store sell/donate items and a separate area for trash items. Move these items to the appropriate area.
  • Place the item that you have chosen to keep in a moving box, or place in the cabinet to pack later.

Disposing of Unwanted Items

  • There are a variety of options for disposing of unwanted items. Disposing items as you go along can avoid unneeded anxiety and stress. You may ask family to come each weekend and dispose of the items for the week or find an individual or group that would dispose of the items for a reasonable fee.
  • Research the following in your area.
  • Consignment Stores.
  • Thrift Stores.
  • Trash removal companies.

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