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Downsize Your Home the Right Way

November 21, 2019

Downsizing your home can seem like it’s just going to be tossing items that no longer bring you joy. But when you do it the right way you can ease your stress as you get ready to move to a smaller home that fits this new stage of your life.

Downsizing a Home Checklist

Downsizing your house can be overwhelming, but there is no need to panic. Take the time and consideration you need to downsize correctly. Our checklist below can help you get started on downsizing your home the easy way.

  1. Downsize your furniture
    • When you are moving to a place with less square footage you need to make sure you have space for the items that you want to take and what you are actually going to be using.
    • Measure the new place ahead of time, if you can, to figure out which furniture is going to fit.
  1. Take smaller items with you
    • You can always get rid of more items once you move. You may discover you have more space in your new place than you thought.
    • Once you have more time to go through your smaller items you can figure out where their new home could be.
  2. Go through all of your boxes
    • People often move multiple times without going through all of their boxes. If you go through all of your boxes, you may find that there are things that no longer fit your life such as your kindergarten artwork and elementary school report cards.
    • You could sell or toss items that you never realized you didn’t need to move from home to home.
    • Don’t keep items that are no longer useful for your limited space.
  3. Plan your storage before you downsize
    • Make sure you know where all of your items are going in your new home and which ones could go to storage. You can always get rid of more items later.
    • You can always add storage to your walls and closets to not only organize your new home but also keep some of your belongings that you can’t part with.
  4. Consider how much space you need
    • You should consider how much space you need to live comfortably. A five-bedroom home was great when the family was younger, but now that they moved out you no longer need all of the space.
  5. The one-year rule
    • If you haven’t used an item in a year, it is likely you won’t use it the next year. This doesn’t include items that are cherished keepsakes.
  6. Keep items that can go to future grandchildren or your children
    • Hold on to belongings that you are planning for your children or grandchildren to have.
  7. Re-home items that mean a lot to you
    •  Sometimes you have items that you no longer have a use for and know someone else would love. Gift that item to them. Let them enjoy what used to give you joy.
  8. Digitize things
    • You can digitize pictures, cds, movies, tapes, etc. and save them to a cloud service or hard-drive that is easy for you to access.
    • You can even digitize your personal records to have back up copies. This will help you free up some much needed space.
  9. Take inventory of your belongings
    • Make a list of items you want to get rid of and send an email to your family to come and get whatever items they want before you sell or toss them.
    • Plus, if you have multiple sets of items you can downsize them to just one set without accidentally getting rid of them all.
  10. Sell some of your belongs in a yard sale or online.
    • This can help you declutter and put extra cash in your hand to go toward your move.
  11. Set limits of what you can bring in after the move
    • Keep your new home from getting re-cluttered be setting limits such as one new article of clothing in and one old article of clothing out.
  12. Make a plan
    • Make sure you are ready to downsize by making a plan.
    • Take the time to find an agent that is right for you.
    • Figure out if your new place has an HOA or not.
    • Look into different neighborhoods to see which one gives you the quality of life that you are looking to have.
  13. Check your personal finances
    • You want to make sure that you can afford to live comfortably in your new downsized life.
    • Moving is expensive, so make sure your nest egg can cover those expenses.
    • You need to also factor in what your new cost of living will be including your monthly expenses. You don’t want to spend more than you can afford.
  14. Tell your children
    • Every family is different and not every family has children that are okay with a parent(s) moving out of their childhood home. Sometimes children can’t let go of their childhood home and offer to buy it from their parents (this is not always the case).

Downsizing Mistakes

So much goes into downsizing your life and moving. The stress can make it easy to make downsizing mistakes. Below are some of the mistakes that people make while downsizing and how you can avoid them.

  • Getting rid of items that you are still going to use or are still using
    • Don’t be left with less silverware and plates than you need. Getting rid of everything can be costly to replace. So don’t “over-downsize”.
  • Keeping items that could go to a new home
    • Decide what sentimental items are a must keep versus what sentimental items could go to a good home with your relatives or friends.
  • Getting rid of sentimental items because of the one-year rule
    • The one-year rule doesn’t apply to those sentimental items that you just can’t let go of.
  • Toss old records that you digitize
    • When you digitize your records, don’t toss the records where you still need the physical copy.
  • Waiting too long
    • The longer you wait, the harder it is to move.
    • Make sure that when you are ready to make the move that you do it in a timely fashion to make it easier on yourself.
  • Not making a thorough plan
    • Moving involves a lot of planning and the addition of downsizing your life makes it more complicated.
    • Be sure to have all of your ducks in a row.
  • Not being prepared enough to move
    • Give yourself enough time to pack your home and downsize without the stress of a rush job.
    • Some people even like to pack one room at a time to make it less stressful.
  • Not being financially prepared to move
    • Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be cheaper depending on the lifestyle you have. Make sure you can live in an area that you will be happy with. Or if you are moving to a 55+ community that you are comfortable with your new neighborhood.
    • Factor in cost-of-living changes for the lifestyle you want to lead in your new home.
  • Moving and discovering that you don’t love the lifestyle of your new home
    • Make sure that where you move has a lifestyle that works for you. Find the home that offers a maintenance free and amenity rich lifestyle that you are looking for.
    • Proximity to things you enjoy doing should be considered. Make sure you know what works best for you.
  • Keeping furniture that doesn’t fit in a smaller home
    • Don’t keep furniture that literally doesn’t fit in your home.

Are You Ready to Downsize Your Life?

Now that you’ve made the choice to downsize, you have tips to make the process go smoothly. Just don’t wait too long to make the life you are imagining the life you are living. Get the most out of your space.

When you’re ready to make the move to The Villas at White Oak Ranch, you’ll have 8 new home designs to choose from. Our homes offer 2-bedroom one-level living with your comfort and convenience in mind. Each home has 2 bathrooms, flex space/study and a 2.5-car garage. Some floor plans offer the option for a third bedroom in the upstairs bonus space.

Contact us today to schedule your personal tour of The Villas at White Oak Ranch, the award winning 55+ active adult community in Conroe TX.

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This post was written by Bob Kapp