Are you considering selling your current home and moving into a smaller place?
Below is our GUIDE to the
“15 Essential Tips when Downsizing your Home”
Over time we tend to accumulate a bunch of “stuff” that we for whatever reason cannot part with or throw away. We have closets full of clothes and shoes, gifts we never used (or probably never opened), furniture unused and literally collecting dust, or garages so packed that we can’t even park our cars! Now the day has arrived where for whatever reason you need to move out of your current home and need something smaller…and you have no idea how all your so-called “stuff” will be able to move with you. Here is what you need to do:
- Write down a list of all the items you love and must have in your new place
Most of us typically think we need everything that we currently own, but of course that is not the case. Take an inventory, room to room, of your current belongings and ask yourself, when was the last time I used that and do I really need it in my new home? You will be amazed by how you will remember that the last time you used that massage chair was 5 years ago and now you use it as a clothes collector!
- Ask for help from family and friends
Nobody knows you better then your parents or best friend…have them over one day and ask there opinion if you should keep that bread maker. It’s good to have someone tell you “Oh come on, you have never used that and you never will!”
- Sell, Sell, Sell…or of course you can also donate!
Before tossing out that old VCR, try holding a yard sale a few weeks before your moving day. Like the old saying goes, “one man’s junk is
another man’s treasure”. You will be surprised on how much stuff you will be able to sell and make cash on the belongings you will not take with you. And, after the yard sale, the items you do not sell you can always donate to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
4. Be Ruthless!
When you’re assessing what to keep and what to get rid of, you have to be ruthless! If you love the item & use it regularly then it’s a keeper. If you have more then one of something or are debating on it, toss it away. Make a list of the items you always use then focus on getting rid of the rest…if there are items you definitely cannot decide about then put it in a box ‘undecided’, but remember to not leave them in that box forever!
5. Do you Want to Pay for Storage Space?
Don’t forget to consider whether or not you want to pay for storage space. If you don’t have enough room in your new place to keep everything, you need to decide if hauling your belongings around is worth the extra cost. Think about the monthly cost of a storage unit, and decide if it’s worth the expense. If not, then you have a few more things to get rid of.
You can also apply this reasoning to a move. If we need another few feet of space, and if it costs a few hundred dollars more to get that, is it worth it?
6. Plan ahead (at least 2 months prior to moving)!
Don’t wait to make decisions on what you keep and what goes. Start planning your downsizing early. For families, make sure everyone is on the same page to avoid hurt feelings down the road. Planning ahead will also mean finding your new next home. If you are considering purchasing another smaller home, search all homes for sale in Maricopa County now – CLICK HERE
7. Avoid tackling the whole house in one day
Take your time in determining which belongings should stay or go. Spend about 1 to 2 hours each day in one room, which is ideal for many adults who are downsizing. The emotional stress of saying goodbye to belongings you have had for quite some time is tough, so take your time each day to avoid over consumption.
8. Get rid of duplicates and “just in case” items.
When you live in a big house with plenty of storage, it’s easy to stash things just in case you might someday need them — but in a small home or apartment, it’s “use it or lose it.” If you need something, you can go out and get it, right? Also cut out as many duplicate items as you can, from the big (multiple sets of glassware and china) to the small (5 hair brushes). What’s convenient or even necessary in a large home will simply not work in a small space.
9. Move Large Items First
Move your furniture and other large items into your new home first, you will have the most energy at this time at the beginning of the move and it will also give you a better idea of where the smaller things will go. Do not fill a room with furniture and say to yourself ‘I will sort it out later’. There is nothing worse then trying to walk through a home or apartment filled with boxes & furniture after a day of moving. Place furniture in rooms as you go and if planned correctly (from previous tips) your big items should fit in nicely.
10. Consider bringing in professionals
There is plenty of moving manager companies out there that can help the emotional and practical decisions of the downsizing transition. These experts are also helpful in defusing the parent-child clash about what to take or leave behind. These companies will help with sorting packing, hiring movers, and unpacking in your new place. These companies usually charge per hour.
11. Measure all your large items
Make sure to know the measurements of each room in your new place; this will allow you to measure your “big ticket” items (i.e- sofa, dressers, bed) so you will know which items will fit in each room or the treadmill you use as coat hanger will not fit anymore!
12. Attitude Adjustment
Like many of you who are downsizing into a smaller home, you are probably leaving behind a plethora of memories from your current larger home. Probably your kids were raised there, numerous Christmas’ and birthday parties were had there, or other joyous occasions with family and friends. Of course, hold onto those memories but don’t think that this next stage in your life won’t be filled with new and happy memories
13. Avoid awkward moments with Family
If you’re giving items to family and friends, have them make a list of requests, and assign items accordingly. If there is a conflict, resolve it with a simple contest like picking a number.
14. How to Know When it’s Time to Downsize
Simply ask yourself these questions?
- Do I spend the most of my time in just a few rooms of my house?
- Is home maintenance taking up too much of my time and becoming more and more difficult?
- Would I like to spend more time on things I want to do rather than on things I have to do like chores around the house?
- Am I still entertaining and using my oace, china, cookware, etc.?
15. Relax and Enjoy
You have now entered a new stage in the life of a home owner. You no longer have to worry about the financial burden or time-consuming tasks of maintaining a huge home. You have simplified your life by now surrounding yourself with the items that are most important to you. We have many more tips you may find useful when selling and buying. Check out our SELLER’S GUIDE and our BUYER’S GUIDE.
ARE YOU CONSIDERING SELLING AND PURCHASING OR RENTING A SMALLER HOME?
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OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOUR HOME SALE AND PURCHASE SMOOTH AND PAIN FREE!