Tips for downsizing like a pro

Downsizing – just the word can cause anxiety in the most organized person. There are many reasons for downsizing.  Seniors often do it to have a smaller home to maintain in their retirement years. Larger families may start to do so as the children start leaving the nest. Transitions from suburban life to urban life can also be a reason to downsize. There may be some simply wanting to live in a smaller home to reduce their monthly mortgage payments. These days you are not alone in this quest, even tiny home living is a growing trend across the country. Whether you are downsizing from 2,400 square feet to 900 square feet or possibly moving to a new home slightly smaller than your current one, we’re here to share some tips to help make that process more manageable.

Where do you start?

First, determine how much downsizing needs to be done. The smaller the size of the new home the more organized you’ll need to be. Sometimes it is easier to create separate sections or piles of items to get you started. Make sure family members know the purpose for each pile.

  • Start with the obvious – the purge pile. This pile should have items that you never use. Possibly clothing that you bought that still has tags years later or that techy gadget you thought was a good idea but never used. These are all things you would not notice if they were gone as they are not used in your everyday life. These items can be donated to charities like Goodwill or other local charities in your area that could benefit from them. Are some of these too costly for you to give away? Then sell them yourself. With sites like eBay and Craigslist, it may be worth looking into selling things on your own. How about eliminating the hassle all together and taking it to a local consignment store?

If you are downsizing from a single family home to a condominium, you probably won’t need the lawnmower any longer. Think about your new lifestyle when assigning your items to a pile. This will help you determine where things should go and what should come with you on the move.

With a little organization downsizing could become less stressful.
With a little organization downsizing could become less stressful.
  • The trash pile. This pile’s name says it all. That chair you have wanted to fix for the last 5 years is a good start for this pile. Get the old shoes from the corner closet or under the bed that you haven’t worn because the heel is worn and put them in this pile. Items that are broken or are beyond repair should also be in this pile.
  • The questionable pile. This is for items you are on the fence about. Keep these items here for review later. You don’t have to make all your decisions right away. This pile is a good pile to review with someone. Talk through each item. This could help you determine if you should keep, purge or trash each one.

Keep these piles around for a while. You may change your mind about where an item should be after some thought. Depending on the current size of your home and the number of items in it, this process could take you awhile. Don’t get frustrated if you are not done in a day or two. If you can avoid it don’t rush it. It takes time to go through all the items you have accumulated.

What’s left?

After going through the exercises above, what is left should be the items you know you want to take with you to your new home. The key to downsizing is keeping things that are useful and that are often used, and removing all the extra “stuff.”  At first, these exercises can feel very difficult, but you could feel great about giving your gently or never used items to others who can benefit from them. Having more space is freeing and you will probably be surprised by how less stress you feel after this is done.

Are you still not sure about some items? Get a storage space and put them there. If you never go to the storage space to seek these items after a year, perhaps you don’t really need the storage space after all. Once you are in your new smaller home it may seem challenging to re-design your space. There are lots of tricks you can use to make a smaller space seem bigger however. Before you know it, your new space will feel like home sweet home.

If you are considering downsizing, talk to the lending experts at Lenox/WesLend Financial or call 844-225-3669. As heard on the radio, it’s the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind. 

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