How to Get Started Downsizing Today
It’s predicted that from now till 2030, about 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach retirement age each day. Many are looking to downsize their living quarters because their kids have long flown the coop and they don’t want to maintain such a large space any longer.
But you don’t have to be staring down your Golden Years to downsize your home. Plenty of people are faced with this need every day, whether it’s a divorce situation, financial hardship situation, military move or just a desire to save money on a monthly mortgage.
Whatever your reason for downsizing, here are some tips to help you manage it all. The first step, of course, is to hire a mover skilled in residential moves or senior moves to help with the relocation.
Work in Concentric Circles
In general, the items of the highest importance in your life are located in the most lived-in areas of your home, such as the living room, kitchen, master bedroom and dining room. Items of lesser importance are usually found in spare bedrooms, attics, basements, closets and garages. Start by sorting the areas farthest from your primary living area, working in concentric circles till you get to the busiest and most used rooms of the house.
You don’t want to pack stuff you still need every day. Start packing belongings such as seasonal items and non-essentials early on.
Ditch the Extraneous
When wondering what to keep and what to toss, think about which possessions make you happiest. Then think about the possessions you know you can live without. Replaceable items can be re-purchased later if you find out you actually need them. Irreplaceable items, such as family heirlooms, photographs and collectibles, are ones that should probably go to the new home. First, identify the must-haves, and then let everything else go.
Give Stuff Away
Once you have sorted your stuff and know what you will be taking with you, you can start contacting friends and family members to see what they may want to take off your hands. You can’t fit all your items into the smaller home, so you may as well start being charitable. Arrange for the items to be picked up, and if no one ends up claiming them, throw the items out or donate them.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
It can be time consuming poring over each item and wondering if you should keep it or not. Do yourself a favor and make a pile for trash. Once you have decided you no longer need a certain item, and it can’t be sold or donated, just toss it. You will feel unburdened and free by the end of the exercise.
De-cluttering should be an ongoing process, not just when moving. If you wait till the movers show up at your house with trucks, you’re behind the eight ball. It’s a good idea to purge every once in a while so it doesn’t get to the point of overwhelming clutter.
Of course, downsizing is never easy. In fact, it can be emotionally painful to toss things you thought you would have forever. You will be making some tough of decisions in upcoming weeks, so stay strong and stay the course.
Cut Out the Duplicates
If you’ve lived in a large home for quite some time, you probably have a lot of repeats on hand, such as small appliances, gadgets, dishes and utensils. Yes, duplicates may be handy in a large home, but they are not practical in a small space. So get rid of that extra toaster, coffee maker, set of chipped dishes, and 10 extra spatulas you’ve been holding onto.
Get in the Right Head Space
That said, there are ways to cope with downsizing so that when it happens, you can handle it. We get it: it’s not always your choice to downsize, like it is for retirees. Sometimes the choice is not yours to make, such as in a divorce, job loss or illness situation. Nevertheless, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of downsizing:
- Smaller homes are easier to clean and upkeep
- There’s less pressure to host parties and gatherings
- You have a lower mortgage or no mortgage
- There are decreased maintenance costs
There are other ways you can save money, too, such as riding your bike to and from work to save on gas and to save the environment. Maybe by downsizing, you’ll be closer to your kids and can spend more time with them. This can be a lifesaver for the recently-divorced who are finding it difficult to be away from their kids.
There is always a silver lining to downsizing, so figure out those reasons and focus on them throughout the process.
Form New Habits
Part of moving on involves forming new habits. Your small home may not offer the tons of storage you have always wanted, but try to see the benefit in that. Now you will be less inclined to splurge on extraneous items that perhaps in your larger home you just took for granted.
Live within your means and try to rethink how you view the need for material things. Keep what makes you truly happy or whatever serves a practical purpose. If you have fewer places to stash your stuff, there’s no need to hunt around for what you need, crawling over boxes in a closet or clamoring over stuff in your immense attic.
Contact Luke’s Moving
Need to downsize? Let Luke’s Moving handle all the details of your relocation, whether you’re moving from a large office space to a small one or a large home to an apartment. Call us for a free quote at 817-409-8982.