Most people will choose downsizing as the best option at some point in their lives. Perhaps a change in income, an empty nest, or a desire to simplify lead to downsizing. Whatever your reason for downsizing, it can be an overwhelming prospect. Don’t fret! It can be done well! Check out these tips to make the downsizing preparation process one that is positive in your life.
Start Downsizing Early
The downsizing process will take longer than you think. Clearing out belongings that you won’t be keeping can be very time consuming. If you try to sort through your entire house in a short period of time, you will likely end up stressed and miserable. Take your time in sorting through belongings, and take breaks through the process. You may find you hit a point in the downsizing process where you feel empowered and peaceful. Use that as motivation to keep going.
Start Small in Downsizing
It’s best not to jump into one of the places storing all your sentimental items in downsizing. Start somewhere small like the laundry room or linen closet, where eliminating items may not take a toll on you emotionally. Leave the attics and garages to a time when the weather is nice and you can do a small section at a time. These areas tend to collect sentimental and hobby items that may be harder to part with.
Sort into Yes or No Piles – No Maybes
Pick up each item you have in your home. If you use it and expect to use it in your new home, it goes in the “yes” pile. If you don’t use it or won’t need it in the new home, it goes in the “no” pile. Here’s a hint: if it has been sitting in a closet for a year or more, you probably don’t need it. If you allow for a “maybe” pile, it will cause you to repeat the whole process, eating up valuable time.
If it helps you to get rid of your “no” pile in waves, do it! Sell what you can, and donate what you can’t. Ridding your current home of the things you are eliminating as you go can help you actually see the progress you are making in your downsizing process.
Duplicates are often a downfall in downsizing. However, think through your actual needs. If you are moving from a four-bedroom home to two bedrooms, you won’t need 8 sets of sheets. You’ll maybe need 4. This also includes those items in the kitchen you use very occasionally or not at all. Do you have two slow cookers? Even if you use them both once or twice a year, it’s not worth taking the space in your smaller quarters. Sometimes those items you just use once or twice a year can be given to a child or grandchild that would use it more and can loan it back to you for those special occasions.
Take Time to Reminisce
If you get started early, you can take time to look at your kids’ school papers one by one. You can invite the family over to show them the things that make you laugh, cry, or remember. Pass your wonderful memories to your family. If you need to move to another room and return to a room that is particularly sentimental, that is okay, too. Don’t let it stop you in your tracks, though. Move on and return later. When deciding whether to keep sentimental items, be sure to let go of ones that bring up negative feelings.
In conclusion, downsizing can be a sizable task. You can make it manageable, though, by following these tips and others. Key Realtors can help you with additional tips, looking for your new home, selling your old home, and more! We’re here for you!