Downsizing can be a very exciting time in your life! It’s a new beginning, more streamlined, and typically a lot easier in terms of property maintenance. But there is a lot involved going from a large family home to a smaller space. To reduce the amount of stress you may have trying to sell your home, organize your belongings, minimize what you have, and then buy the right next home, we’ve curated seven tips to help you with your move.
Take Inventory of Your Stuff
Downsizing can be a complicated process if you don’t do it right. The first thing you can do is take inventory of everything you own, which you can divide into keep, sell, donate, and throw out piles. While this may be a hard, time-consuming task, it’s essential to separate your wants from your needs. Often, it’s not the physical item you find hard to give up; it’s the memory attached, so in this case remember it’s just stuff and you’ll always have the memory.
Minimize Duplicate Items
Find yourself having 20 novelty mugs but only using the same three of them? Or five wine bottle openers? Keep your favorite and donate the rest! The kitchen is a hotspot for duplicate items; glassware, utensils, kitchen towels, spices, and everything in between. It’s likely you don’t need three containers of garlic powder which are probably expired, so go through your kitchen and throw out duplicates and anything past its expiration date, you’ll be surprised how much you get rid of.
Make the Most of Storage Space
Downsizing is all about making the most of your storage space. Under the bed, inside an ottoman, hanging shoe racks, and built-in shelves are all examples of great all-purpose storage space that’s already inside of the house. Don’t bother buying plastic containers when there’s already so much space available.
Sell Your Belongings
Everyone’s heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” so if you’re planning on getting rid of a lot of your stuff consider having a yard sale. Everyone has old kids toys, power tools, furniture, etc., laying around. Whatever you don’t sell at your yard sale, throw it up online. There are even apps now that allow you to sell your old belongings. Try Facebook Market, Poshmark, OfferUp, eBay, or Craigslist. Poshmark is great for selling old clothes and accessories, OfferUp is terrific for old furniture, and eBay/Craigslist/Facebook Market are great for just about any item.
Bust Out the Tape Measure
If you’re downsizing to a small home or apartment, it can be easily forgotten that some furniture may not fit the smaller space or look right in the new layout. It’s important to measure the new home and the furniture you already have to make sure it’ll fit. You don’t want to show up to your new home and realize the furniture won’t fit through the door.
Determine Your Lifestyle Needs
What kinds of rooms are you going to have/need in your smaller home? Are you retired or will you need an office? Are there any guest bedrooms? Think about the kind of lifestyle you want to embrace moving forward with your new house and if you’ll be having guests around at all. This is important to determine what each room will be and what unnecessary furniture/items you may have.
When in Doubt, Get an Objective Opinion
If you really can’t figure out what to keep and what to give away, get a second opinion. It can’t hurt to get someone who’s judgment will be objective and help you determine what you do or do not need.