Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home
December 3, 2020
Is it time to move into a smaller house? If you’re looking to down-size your space, whether to reduce debt or simply as a homeowner who needs less square feet than you currently have, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
It can feel bittersweet to pack up all your personal belongings and move somewhere new, but there are actually several ways to preserve the memories and keep your sanity in tact, according to a recent Zillow.com post.
First, make a plan.
Once you’ve decided where you’re moving next, check the dimensions for each room and storage space, so you have a guideline in decision-making. And in this case, it’s better to underestimate than to overestimate. Try to do one room at a time, and start with the furniture — formulate a plan from big to small, so you’ll know whether a certain dresser, couch, bookshelf, etc. might fit in the new space.
Pro tip: Even before you make plans for the new place, do some major de-cluttering of your existing space, being sure to include all your paperwork!
Second, sort your belongings.
Getting a fresh start allows you to keep what you love, and give away, sell, or discard what you don’t. Ask yourself the tough questions: When’s the last time you wore that shirt, or used that tool in the kitchen, or put up that holiday décor? If you’re losing entire rooms like a spare bedroom or a home office, that might make your decision-making easier once you know for sure what you’ll no longer use. For some people, this might also mean finding an objective, non-judgmental friend to assist you in this task, if it feels too overwhelming. Regardless, local charities like AMVETS or Salvation Army and needy families are happy to accept your well-loved-but-no-longer-needed items. (Be sure to check their website for any special COVID restrictions.)
Pro-tip: Schedule any large furniture or appliance donations in advance, since there’s a good chance you’ll need to be home when it’s time for the pick-up. This might also make staging your home for a sale more visually attractive!
Next, preserve your memories.
Let’s face it: Downsizing can be challenging on the brain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take your mementos with you. Consider getting digital photos or creating new digital photo albums to share on TV and computer screens. Another way to preserve memories is to donate some of your most-enjoyed items to someone you know and love. Maybe your favorite niece would love that extra crockpot? Or your son-in-law loves to play your favorite board game, that’s hidden away in your den?
Pro tip: You could even try creating a new art piece like a shadowbox filled with concert ticket stubs, theater playbills, and letters from your past.
Finally, give yourself time to reminisce.
Once you discover numerous items you haven’t seen in years, it will be up to you to decide just what is best to do with them. Give yourself some time and space to reminisce, and then make a decision, with your space limitations in mind. Take with you what’s truly valuable — as only you can decide what you can or cannot do without.
Just imagine: After you’ve finished your move, you’ll start to enjoy your new place, surrounded by what you’ve chosen truly matters most.
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