Downsizing Helps You Set Limits as You Move to a Smaller Home
Are you considering a move to a new home but don't know how to get started? You’re not alone. Downsizing can seem like a daunting task but it's a fantastic opportunity to organize your precious memories and let go of items that no longer spark joy. Passing along family heirlooms to the next generation and donating unwanted items can bring great happiness to you and those around you. When you downsize the right way, you can lessen your stress and ease into this exciting new phase of your life.
Step-By-Step Checklist for Downsizing Your Home
Our checklist considers the time and attention you need to get started downsizing your home the easy way.
- Consider the amount of space you actually need
- Now that you are empty nesters, you may no longer need all of that extra bedroom space but you want more room for entertaining and living. Consider the amount of space you actually need to live comfortably.
- Plan your storage needs before downsizing
- To avoid moving items you don't need or want, create a plan for your new home so you know where all of your items are going and which ones you can place in storage.
- Make 4 areas in your home to separate items to keep, donate, sell, or trash.
- There may be items that you want to sell, make sure you sell them before you move so you don't pay unnecessary moving expenses.
- Storage isn’t just placing items in a storage unit or attic; it can be as simple as adding creative storage solutions to your walls, closets, and garage.
- Consider hiring a professional organizer. They can easily walk you through the process and help you get set up the right way in the new home.
- Downsize your furniture
- Downsizing is a perfect opportunity to update your furniture and start with a clean, fresh palate.
- Use your floorplan as a guide to determine what will fit. Open-concept living areas can accommodate more than you may realize but you don't want to clutter your new space with outdated items.
- Take the time to go through all of your old boxes
- People tend to move many times throughout their lives without ever going through all of their boxes.
- Take the time to thoroughly examine what you are storing to see if you want or need what's inside.
- Make sure to shred personal documents you no longer need.
- Plan to take the smaller items with you
- If you are running low on time to go through everything before moving, take smaller items with you. Once you have time to go through them, you can figure out if they have a place in your new home.
- You might discover that you have a lot more space in your new home, but if you don’t, you can always get rid of more items.
- Follow the one-year rule for downsizing
- If you haven’t used items in a year or more, it is highly likely that you won’t use them next year either.
- Consider donating extra bedding, towels, and clothing you no longer use.
- Keep items that can go to your grandchildren or your children or re-home meaningful items
- Belongings that you are already planning to give to your grandchildren or children can be placed in clear storage bins to be easily shared and stored.
- If you have belongings that you have no use for but know that someone else would love, gift them to that person. Consider donating items to a non-profit.
- Take inventory of belongings that you don’t mind giving to family
- Create a list of items you want to unburden yourself with before you move. Send your family an email and ask them to take the items they want from the list before you donate or sell them.
- Take inventory of what you have left and new items that you will need to purchase.
- Digitize what you can to free up physical space
- Digitize your old CDs, tapes, pictures, movies, and more. You can save them to an external hard drive or a cloud service that provides you easy access.
- Digitize your personal records to help you free up even more space, and you'll have backup copies.
- Create limits for yourself about how many new items you can bring in after your move
- Now that you’re in a new home, it is important to keep it from getting re-cluttered. Set limits for what you bring in.
- Communicate with your family
- Make sure to discuss your plans with your family. If possible, give them the opportunity to walk through the home one last time.
- Downsizing is often a huge relief for family members who worry about ongoing home maintenance and the ability for their parents to age in place with the active lifestyle they deserve.
What are Common Downsizing Mistakes?
The stress of moving makes it easy to make mistakes in downsizing your life and moving. This includes rushing to downsize and pack up your home because you didn't give yourself enough time. Some of the common downsizing mistakes are below as well as how you can avoid making them.
- Getting rid of items that you are not currently using
- Remember, it's easy to “over-downsize.” Make sure you keep items you need to get started in your new home and then donate what you no longer need.
- Keeping furniture that no longer works in your new home
- It can be hard to let go, but make sure you don't keep pieces that look too dated.
- Work with a professional decorator to incorporate sentimental pieces with updated items.
- Many furniture stores offer decorating services for free.
- Tossing your old physical records that were digitized
- After digitizing your records, don’t toss the old records you still need a physical copy of.
- Waiting too long to make the move
- When you are ready to move, start packing to make it easier for yourself.
- Remember, it is harder to move the longer you wait to do it!
- Not making a thorough plan
- There is a lot of planning that goes into moving, and when you add downsizing to the move, it can be more complicated.
- Doing things such as packing one room at a time can make moving less stressful.
- Stick to a timeline with your builder to ensure you are able to sell your current home and avoid moving twice.
- Moving just to discover you don’t love the lifestyle offered by your new home or community
- Talk to your sales counselor about amenities and lifestyle activities designed to meet your needs. Convenient shopping, world-class healthcare, and easy access to dining and entertainment should be considered when visiting 55+ communities.
- Make sure that the location you move to has a lifestyle that works for you and is near the things you enjoy doing.
Now That You Are Prepared to Downsize Your Life, Contact Us Today!
Now that you are ready to make your move, you have the necessary tools that help will help this process go much more smoothly. You can get more out of your space to make the life you are imagining. Contact us today to schedule a tour of Serenity at Meridiana with our top quality and efficient two and three-bedroom single-story homes designed with the 55+ active adult homeowner in mind.