staging areaSo just what exactly is a staging area? Here is the definition according to the Merriam Webster dictionary – ‘an area in which participants in a new especially military operation or mission are assembled and readied’.

Of course, downsizing for a move is not a military operation, however, some similarities can be drawn. A staging area is a designated area, and the participants are actually items that are stored until they can be removed from a home.  

The first step in the downsizing process is to designate space for a staging area. As mentioned above, this area is where items will be stored until they are removed from a home.  These items include donations, give-away items to family & friends, and sale items.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention trash and recycling? That’s because there will always be trash and recycling you come across in each space that you are working in. Because of this, you want to have a trash bag and recycle bin in each room that you work in, so they can be removed as they fill up. All the other items need to go into the designated staging area.

If you don’t have an area of your home with available space that can be used as a staging area, you need to clear a space. Some options for a good staging area include, a garage, basement, or a room that isn’t in use. The closer to an exterior door, the better. Seeing those items every time you leave the house may be the motivation you need to take these items to their final destination…away from your home!

Attics are not a good option for a staging area for obvious reasons, or for storage in general. To learn more about that, click on this link to an article I wrote about the subject of attic storage.

Large pieces that need to be removed from your home, such as furniture, obviously cannot be moved to the staging area, so those pieces need to be tagged in some way.

Some use colored adhesive dots. If you use this method, you need to have some sort of legend to indicate what each colored dot means. Maybe green means donation, yellow means to sell, blue means that piece goes to a family or friend, whatever makes sense to you.

The thought of downsizing for a move can be overwhelming. Whether you have help or not, an organized approach can reduce the amount of stress you experience during this process.

Take the first step by creating a staging area, and the other steps will fall into place. Before you know it, you will have reduced the amount of your belongings, so that they are proportionate to your new living spaces!