Change can be hard – especially if it means moving from a larger home that holds so many memories (not to mention belongings) to a much smaller space. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, we work with clients on both sides – this who are selling their large home to move to a smaller home, and those who are selling their small home to buy a larger home. Today we will share some ideas on how you can successfully downsize.

1. Have a Plan

First and foremost, make sure that you are not going in blind. Take a trip to the home you are buying and measure everything. Do not assume that anything will fit – or that it won’t. Get true measurements so that your decisions are based on the facts. Once you have measurements, go through the home one room at a time and decide what you want in there. Start with furniture, then consider what will go around it.

2. Sort Through Everything

Yes, we mean everything. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to assume that entire sections of their home will be going with them. For example, they might assume that all their clothing is worth going, but are there pieces you haven’t worn for more than a decade? If so, it’s time to get rid of it. Are there utensils in your kitchen that are for a single use – and you never use it for that? Get rid of it.

Likewise, get rid of anything you have many of. Do you have three coffee pots? That might have been fine in a larger home, but in a small home you only need one. Your goal is to only take things to the new home that have significant sentimental value (think: wedding photos) or that you already use regularly. You can make decisions about whether to give away, throw away, or donate the items you will no longer be using.

3. Take Advantage of Easy Ways to Keep Your Memories

You will note above that we recommended keeping wedding photos – but only until this step. The fact is that a lifetime of photo albums can take up a lot of space. You can easily digitize them, get a digital frame, and watch them go through in a slideshow whenever you want. If you aren’t tech savvy, ask a friend or family member to help you, or use a local digitization service.