Downsizing can seem like a huge undertaking but with a few simple steps you can make the move easy and as stress-free as possible. If you’ve been planning to downsize for a while, it’s good to plan ahead. You’ve probably already been thinking about what to do with all your ‘stuff’. And, while you probably realize that you can’t take it all with you, you don’t want to regret not taking something that you really love. Even if you’re not a collector or, heaven forbid, a “hoarder”, having things around us that make us feel comfortable and give us the feeling of “home” is priceless. If you’re moving from a large home to a smaller one, regardless of how big or small, take these simple steps to assure an easy and unregretful move.
#1. Plan Early.
Downsizing to a smaller home takes some planning, potentially even up to 6 months of planning. That might seem like a long time but you’re trying to do this without a lot of stress, right? By putting time constraints on your move, you can feel stressed, rushed and then, of course, you might regret not taking something with you.To avoid this, make a list of all the things you know you can’t live without. 2-3 months should be long enough IF you can afford it, but with work, kids, and other demands, you may need longer.
#2. Make inventory.
You may have already done this for insurance purposes but, if not, it’s a good idea to do so for both insurance and inventory reasons. Think of it this way, if there were a fire, what are the items you would most want to keep? Those are your “Essentials”. Then go down the list. Segment the list into must-haves, wants, needs, and “I could do without”. Then take another look at those do-withouts… are you sure?
Think about the things you use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. If you haven’t used something or laid a finger on something in over a year, it may be time to get rid of it, unless it has serious sentimental or nostalgic value. And even then, these items can be stored off-site.
Like I said before, the inventory list can also be a handy item for insurance purposes. If you have pictures of everything as well, there is no question on replacing your items should something tragic happen.
Now that you have a list of the items you want to keep, what will you do with the items you don’t? There are many ways to keep or dispose of items:
- Give to family or friends
- Donate (I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for that deduction)
- Consignment Shop
Also, make a list of the furniture you’ll want to take and each item’s measurements to determine if it will fit in the new home. If you can’t take measurements of the new home and have a mental snapshot of where everything will go. If you know it won’t fit, it may be time to downsize more than just the house. Your wardrobe, furniture, kitchen items, bathroom products, and garage tools should be pared down as well.
In some cases, you may need to purge entire rooms. If you’re moving from a 3,000 square foot house to a 1,500 square foot house, chances are you won’t have as many rooms in general. You may not have an office, large bedroom, or any formal rooms. Before you look at other homes, make a list of the rooms you really need or use. If you haven’t used your formal dining room in years, you may not need one.
Related Post: What you should know about “Rightsizing” your home
What about outside items? If you’re moving from a house to a condo, you probably don’t need your lawnmower or any other lawn maintenance items any longer. If you’re moving into a rental, you may not even need any tools, especially if your landlord handles everything.
Ready to downsize? Have more questions? I’m here! Don’t hesitate to call me anytime for new properties, answers to your questions and of course, all Calabasas Real Estate inquiries.