Have your kids gone away to college?
Are you and your partner "shacking up" together?
If so, it's time to downsize your home!
Although it might sound easy to simply get rid of your large furniture, additional appliances and one-too-many winter coats, actually doing it can be much harder.
That’s why we‘ve come up with tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.
What Is downsizing?
In a nutshell, the process of downsizing involves just that—moving from a larger home to a smaller home, and only taking with you what is necessary to fill that new home to accomodate your recent life change.
Where to start when downsizing your home
Prior to the actual event of downsizing, you're likely going to be faced with the decision to either sell your current home (if you own it), or rent it out as an income property.
The outcome here will depend on things such as:
- your income and expenses (debt ratio)
- your lifestyle
- your plans for the next 5 years
For argument sake, lets say you've decided to take the traditional road and sell your current home in order to accomodate the move.
1. Strategize your move.
Strategizing your move and taking inventory of what you have is the first step to an (almost) stress-free experience.
Our recommended approach? Enter each and every room in your home with a pen and a notepad. Beginning with the largest items, write down all of your furniture, appliances and home accessories. From your side table to your kitchen stove, take inventory of everything that you have in your home.
Next, highlight in yellow the items you want to keep, and highlight in red the items you will be discarding or selling (see below).
Strategizing your move and taking inventory of your possessions will make downsizing so much easier.
2. Sell, sell, sell.
Once you have determined the items you will be discarding, we encourage you to consider selling said items.
Whether it’s through a garage sale or on trusted sites like eBay or Kijiji, passing off your items to another home will result in money in your pocket that you can put toward furniture for your new home!
3. Shop for storage options.
Although life changes can call you to downsize your home, the first few weeks in your new home will certainly be an adjustment.
For example, if you are most comfortable with a home and a yard and move into a townhome or apartment, your lifestyle and functional space will be much different.
Having storage options from the get-go will help make your adjustment much smoother. From wall mounted shelving to under-the-bed storage, there are plenty of options available at container stores, or online at Amazon or IKEA.
Finally, be ruthless.
We understand how difficult it can be to part with your items.
Some pieces of furniture can bring back memories, and others might have been in your family for 20+ years. Remember though, this period of downsizing is a time when you must be ruthless (we say that with the utmost sincerity).
With a new home comes a new lifestyle, and it is a time to create new memories with new items.
If you’re debating whether or not you should sell that side table that has been in your foyer since your first child was born, think about it - will you really be needing this item in your new home?
Remember - downsizing does not need to be a painful experience. In fact, we encourage you to have fun and enjoy the process!
By downsizing strategically, you can surely create a smooth transition and a whole new experience for yourself and your family.