Written by Betty White
Living in a large house is ideal for some families, but for others, the cost and labor of maintaining a large family home can be overwhelming. This is particularly true once your children have grown up and left home. If you’re feeling defeated in your present house, downsizing is not only an excellent lifestyle shift, but it may also be a smart financial and emotional one. Do you cringe when you hear the phrase “declutter”? Downsizing and decluttering may be a complex process. But after researching helpful websites and blog posts like this one, it will be much easier. Here are the 5 tips for moving to a smaller home.
1) Take inventory
When you downsize to a smaller house, you won’t have as much space for all of the things you’ve collected over the years. And if your children have left a lot of their stuff behind, you will have an even bigger problem. Therefore, it’s crucial to distinguish between aspirational and necessary goods when you sort through everything. For example, unless it has sentimental value, if you come across anything you haven’t touched in over a year, it’s time to let it go. The whole point of downsizing is to simplify your life, so bring what you need only.
Moreover, if you are a younger family and you are moving with children, you won’t have money to waste. So, if you want your relocation with the whole family to be a breeze, you need to do all that is necessary to prepare. And that begins with reducing the number of items you will bring to your new home. As a result, your relocation costs will go down.
2) Go room by room
When packing up your house, it’s easy to become sidetracked; the best advice we can provide is to create a strategy to help you stay organized. This is very important if you’ve got your eye on a condo. Start with the rooms with the greatest clutter and mark three boxes or containers as “Keep,” “Get Rid Of,” and “Storage.” Once you’ve filled your “Keep” box in each room with goods that are necessary for your everyday life, you may wrap and label it to make moving and unpacking go more smoothly.
3) Create a plan for getting rid of excess items
Once you’ve determined which objects will not be moving with you, you have several alternatives for getting rid of them.
- Donate or Freecycle: decluttering your closets and cabinets is a great way to give back. Make a pile of no longer needed clothing, books, toys, and other appliances that the Salvation Army accepts, and donate them to someone who needs it.
- Organize a Garage Sale: This is an excellent option if you have larger goods to sell. Another option is to sell stuff on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, although it may be easier to sell it all in one day from your garage.
- Rent a skip bin: Depending on your town, you may be eligible for one free skip bin per year. Therefore, we recommend scheduling this as soon as possible so you can begin disposing of those larger items.
- Pass along to loved ones: This is the ideal time to rehome your precious items by passing them down to your loved ones.
4) Digitize your papers
Nothing is more inconvenient than having to load and transport boxes and boxes of paper; they are not only difficult to lift but also tricky to store, especially in a smaller house. Thus, get rid of the paper and try to go digital as much as possible.
Paper clutter may quickly accumulate over time, so now is an excellent opportunity to go through old invoices, receipts, and other paperwork and discard anything you don’t need. Scanning any records or receipts you might need in the future will give you a digital copy, and you can destroy the rest.
5) Utilize your storage space
When downsizing to a smaller house, making the most of any available storage space is critical, as you’re likely to have more belongings than space in your new home. While not every property has dedicated storage facilities such as a garage or plenty of cabinetry, there are plenty of innovative ways to make the most of your new home’s storage areas. Create a built-in storage space where possible, box things up to prevent ‘clutter,’ utilize wall storage such as hanging shelves, and finally, use concealed storage areas where possible.
Here are some extra tips to keep in mind when moving to a smaller home:
- Measure furniture before purchasing new items.
Because the goal of downsizing is to minimize living space, which means less care and upkeep, your furniture may be too large for your smaller living area. Measure your furniture to determine whether and how it will fit in your new place while taking inventory of your possessions, and decide if it will work or if it’s time to leave it behind. If it fits, make sure that your new place won’t feel a bit cramped. It’s far easier to figure this out ahead of time than to move a sectional couch into a new home only to discover it doesn’t fit.
- Give yourself plenty of time
Underestimating the amount of work required before moving in is a typical mistake. Giving yourself more time than you think you’ll need to arrange for the move and reduce your possessions will ensure a stress-free relocation.
- Keep your financial goals in mind
Does moving to a smaller home assist you in achieving your financial objectives? Saving money is one of the most compelling reasons for many homeowners to downsize to a smaller house. Downsizing to a less costly home will help retirees seeking to stretch their finances farther, families saving for college expenses, and people looking to save for retirement. After all, paying for a huge property might devastate one’s finances. Taking care of larger space generally costs more money, from high electricity bills and maintenance charges to hefty monthly mortgage payments and insurance rates.
Think about your future if you are considering moving to a smaller home. Do you intend to retire and spend your golden years in this modest home? If that’s the case, make sure it’s set up to meet an older person’s needs too. A two- or three-story home with steep stairs, for example, is not suitable for an older adult with mobility challenges. A one-story house or an apartment complex with an elevator is a better investment. On the other hand, features like stairs aren’t as crucial if you don’t plan on downsizing for a long time.