Older Woman at Home in Kitchen

How to Downsize Without Moving (Free Downsizing Checklist Printable)

Downsizing is not just for older people. Anyone who wants to live a clutter-free life can downsize while still living in their current home. Yes, downsize without moving! Not only will it help you feel happier and more content, but it will also lighten your load and give you a sense of freedom. So, if you’re interested in the idea of downsizing but don’t want to move, here’s how you can go about it. I’m also sharing my downsizing checklist as a free printable below.

The Advantage of Downsizing without Moving

One of the key benefits of downsizing without moving is that it allows you to declutter your living space at your own pace. This is particularly advantageous because the process of downsizing can often be emotionally challenging, and rushing to declutter under a deadline can add unnecessary stress. By taking your time and parting with possessions only when you are ready, you can make the downsizing process smoother and less overwhelming.

Have Realistic Expectations

When it comes to downsizing, it’s important to have realistic expectations. It can take anywhere from nine months to a year to fully downsize your belongings. It’s crucial not to put unnecessary deadlines or pressure on yourself to finish the task quickly. 

Decluttering is not an easy task, as it involves letting go of items that hold sentimental value or memories. It can be an emotional process, and you need to give yourself adequate time to sort through your belongings and decide what to keep and what to let go of. It’s a journey that requires patience and understanding, so be kind to yourself and take things at a comfortable pace. That’s why it’s good to downsize without moving so you don’t have to do it under a tight deadline!

Free Downsizing Checklist Printable

One Drawer at a Time

Decluttering and downsizing can be a daunting task, especially when you have a lot of stuff to sort through. However, the key to making it more manageable is to break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks.

Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, start by focusing on one drawer at a time. This way, you can organize your belongings more effectively and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the process. By taking it one step at a time, you’ll be able to declutter your space in a more efficient and less stressful manner.

Not Sure Box

Decluttering is not easy especially when you come across items that hold sentimental or practical value. It can be difficult to decide whether to keep it or to let it go. 

To make this process easier, you can have a ‘Not Sure Box’ in your garage or basement. This box is meant for items that you’re unsure about and need more time to decide. Over time, if you haven’t used or looked at these items for at least six months, it’s a good indication that you don’t need them anymore. 

You can then safely donate them to a local charity or Goodwill. It’s important to check your ‘Not Sure Box’ regularly and remove any items that you’ve made a decision about, so the box doesn’t become a source of clutter. By using a ‘Not Sure Box,’ you can give yourself time to let go of things that are hard to part with.

Old Furniture

When downsizing, take inventory of the furniture in your home and see if you have any furniture that you don’t use. Check if there are any pieces of furniture that you no longer use or need. 

Once you have identified the furniture, you can decide whether to keep it, give it away, donate it to a charity, or sell it to make some extra cash. To stay organized throughout this process, you can use my downsizing checklist (see below).

Free Downsizing Checklist Printable


When it comes to clothes, it’s always a good idea to apply the rule of thumb – if you haven’t worn it in a while, it’s time to let it go. Clothes that no longer fit you well, either because they are too small or too big, should be the first to go.

To make the decluttering process less overwhelming, you can take things one step at a time and focus on one closet or section at a time. For instance, you might start by decluttering a set of drawers before moving on to your closet.


When it comes to purging, linens can be a relatively easy category to tackle. Unlike sentimental items or clothing with emotional attachment, linens are generally less emotionally charged, making them simpler to part with.

If you have linens that you don’t use or need, consider donating them to a local charity or shelter. Also, if you have mismatched sheets or pillowcases that are taking up unnecessary space, it’s time to let them go too. To help keep your linen closet organized, check out our article on how to organize your linen closet.


For book lovers, the number of books can easily spiral out of control. One way to tackle this problem is to be harsh when it comes to deciding which books to keep. 

Keep only the books that you believe you will read again or those that you think you might need to refer back to in the future. Any other books that you don’t think you will need can be donated to those who could benefit from them. This way, you can make the most of your book collection while keeping it manageable and organized.

Shred Documents

Over time, we accumulate a large amount of documents and paper, which can become overwhelming. It is essential to stay on top of this clutter by purging it frequently. If we let it pile up, it becomes too much to sort through, and the task of organizing it becomes daunting. It is crucial to shred sensitive documents to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft.

To make this task more manageable, set a specific time to shred your documents, be it every week or every other week. You can even multitask and do it while watching your favorite Netflix show. Personally, I find that shredding while watching TV helps pass the time and makes the task less tedious.

Start organizing your clutter by tackling one drawer at a time, beginning with the junk drawer. You can find plenty of tips online on how to organize your junk drawer and make the most of the space. Check out our tips on how to organize your junk drawer.  

Gardening & Outdoors

If you have a garage or an outdoor shed, it’s a good idea to go through them and declutter regularly. Take some time to assess which items you actually use and which ones are just taking up space. If you come across any old tools, flower pots, or gardening hoses that you no longer use or need, it’s probably time to get rid of them. By doing so, you’ll free up space and make it easier to organize and access the items you use. 


Take inventory of small kitchen appliances and even office equipment such as printers, fax machines, and old modems. If you haven’t used them for at least six months, it’s probably safe to say that you won’t need them in the near future. Check our tips on how to organize your Kitchen

Free Downsizing Checklists

Get Your Free Downsizing Checklist Printable

Download your free downsizing checklist printable. Print it, keep it in a binder and use it to stay organized as you downsize. 

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