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Downsizing during the pandemic? Here’s what you need to know

Right up there with baking sourdough bread, decluttering and downsizing have moved high up on the list of people’s things to do while we’re stuck at home.

We agree! There is no time like now to begin your decluttering project. Before you get started, you should know how the current situation may impact your efforts.

Lots of people downsizing means the already over-saturated secondhand market is beyond full. 

If you are hoping to sell furniture, china, silverware or antiques, you may have difficulty finding interested parties, let alone getting top dollar.

Similarly, non-profit organizations are having a hard time keeping up with all the donations they’re receiving. It may take more effort, or a longer wait, if you are seeking an organization that will pick things up from your home.

This is a wonderful time to give graciously, and there are several ways to do it. 

Goodwill is open and takes most items, so you can donate things there.

If it’s important to you that you know who’s getting your stuff, check out for a group in your area. Freecycle is a website where people post what they have to give away. If someone wants what you have, you leave it outside your home, for a no-contact pick-up. It may not be as satisfying as selling, but you will know your things are going to good homes.

You can also post things for Sale or Free on and Facebook Marketplace.

On the Additional Resources page of our site,  you’ll find a comprehensive list of which organizations take what. (Be sure to check with the organization beforehand to find out if they’re currently accepting donations.)

If you have things to recycle, but you’re not sure where to take them, the San Mateo RecycleWorks guide will answer all of your questions.

Another positive is that professional downsizing assistance, like ours, is available even now. 

We carefully adhere to safety precautions including distancing and masking. So you if you’d like help decluttering, downsizing or designing a new space, we are available!

* More good news – no haz-mat suits are necessary!
Photo:Sean Gallup/Getty Images