Moving tends to be one of the most stressful changes people experience in their lives, so you aren't alone in wondering if you will make it through your move without the need for a vacation to unwind. Downsizing can be particularly stressful because it means getting rid of things you currently enjoy having around the house and it requires a change in lifestyle that takes some getting used to. These tips and tricks will help minimize your stress so that when all is said and done, you'll be able to enjoy all features of your new home and look back on the stressful times as nothing more than a distant memory:

Plan Your Downsizing

Planning for a downsized move involves more than figuring out how to get all of your stuff from the old place to the new one. You'll more than likely have to get rid of a little bit of everything in order to maintain a comfortable balance and ensure that you will have everything you need in your new place without too much to store – and getting rid of stuff can be a bit stressful. Here's how to take the stress out of planning and ensure that your new place is spacious and convenient once you move in:

  • Plan on making extra space in your new home by asking everyone in the family to get rid of one shirt or pair of pants for every two items that they choose to keep. This will dramatically cut down on closet clutter so toys, accessories, and nick-knacks that can't be parted with can be stored there.
  • Create a three-day meal plan that incorporates the usual preparation techniques used in your kitchen. You can use the plan to determine which kitchenware and tools you use on a regular basis, and which can be discarded without being missed too much.
  • Transfer DVDs and CDs to a large hard drive so you can get rid of the disks and free up space on your entertainment center and shelves.
  • Pay attention to which chairs and tables are used most often by family members in your home. This will help you decide which furniture to keep based on need as opposed to indulgence.

Remember that it's easier to expand your belongings later if you have the room than it is to bring too much stuff along with the need to get rid of it before you can enjoy your new surroundings.

Limit Packing Boxes

Another great way to make downsizing easier on everyone in the family and minimize stress throughout the process is to designate a limited number of boxes for each room in the home, and once those boxes are packed everything leftover should be gotten rid of. This will encourage packers to put the most valuable and used items in boxes first, and hopefully leave you with items that the family doesn't really use that often after all. This tactic comes in exceptionally handy when you want to limit the number of toys and nick-knacks that kids can move to their new rooms.

Host a Going Away "Salebration"

You can lessen the financial stress of your move, making it easier to hire professional movers to take care of things for you, by hosting a going away celebration that combines the fun of a party with the profits of a yard sale. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share in your backyard, and set up a couple of utility tables to hold the food and utensils. Brew a few pots of coffee, fill a cooler with soda, and stack bottles of water on the lawn.

Horseshoes, badminton, and Frisbee are all fun and inexpensive games to consider implementing. Dedicate some space where you can display any furniture, clothing, accessories, and other items you'd like to get rid of and put a price tag on them so guests can easily buy what they like on their way out.

These techniques are all things that your family can easily get on board with, making your move more of a pleasure for everyone involved.