| Bargain Outlet
Expert Contributor

When you're moving to a smaller property, there are many things to consider.

One concern that might slip your mind until the last minute is how to divide up heirlooms while keeping the family peace. Ideally, your loved ones will still be on speaking terms with each other after moving day. How can you make this happen?


Plan in Advance

You've probably already taken an inventory while preparing to move, so you can start by working off of that list. Some pieces will be coming with you to your new place, but let's look at everything else.

Start downsizing by contacting your family members well in advance. Find out if there's anything in particular they'd like to take off your hands. For bigger items, let them know that they'll have to make transportation arrangements.

Next, here are some practical things to think about:

Distance: Family members who live a plane ride away will struggle to take bulky items back home. Small keepsakes may be a better fit for them.

Home Size: Very large items like canoes and sectional sofas should be matched to people who actually have space for them.

Personality concerns. You know your kids and relatives better than anyone. It's possible that one is more responsible than the others, and your collection of fragile Tiffany lamps would be in better hands with that person. Make sure to balance it out and give other items to the rest of the clan.

Their Special Requests: If you have a family member with a particular attachment to something, give that person the item if at all possible.

Your Special Requests: You may want something passed on to a grandchild when they're old enough to appreciate it. Make your wishes known as you give the item to the family.


Moving Day

Put your family to work and throw a moving party. This is a great way to catch up with your loved ones, get a helping hand and distribute items under your watchful eye. Make the transition to a new home on a positive note by providing snacks, conversation and a chance for family members to haul out the items they're getting.

By this point, you'll probably already have a good idea where most of your items are going. For the rest, you can organize party games to divide them up. For instance, give family members who came to help three stickers that they can use to mark what they want to take home with them.


Other Strategies

Do you have items with no sentimental value that you'd like to get rid of? You can donate them to charity in a child's name and get a receipt that can be applied to a tax break. You might also get your family to help you sell the excess items at a yard sale or on services like eBay. Afterwards, you can split the proceeds.

Make use of a service that creates high-quality copies of photos. You'll be able to give everyone a copy of the family photo album and cut arguments to a minimum.

Another great option is to donate antiques to a local museum. This is a way to let everyone enjoy them, and you can rest assured that they'll be kept in mint condition by trained professionals.


Shakti S. has been a freelance writer since 2012 and has a strong background in English with experience in copywriting, editing, and translations. She has taken on DIY projects and worked with professional designers and home repair agencies, and continues to learn more about home and yard decoration, maintenance, and repair.