If you are preparing to downsize your home or thinking about it, there can be many things to keep track of that will cause you problems along the way if you don’t. These steps range from practical considerations like being aware of space differences to sentimental ones.
Sort Through Everything You Own
Unless your current home is sitting empty, you will almost certainly have to get rid of many of your existing items or, at the very least, reconsider how you will store them. The best way to start working through this process is to take inventory of everything you own.
Many people will only take stock of their inventory when they’re ready to move. Even though this method takes less time overall, it can lead to unpleasant situations where you realize that you do not have enough time to sort through unexpected items.
For this reason, it is best to start by listing everything and potentially donating items you no longer require early.
Once you get to the actual move, you will be more prepared and can use the Three Box Method, where you pack each item into a slated box for keeping, donating, or storing.
Annie and Andre list out some great decluttering tips.
Figure Out the Best Storage in Your New Home
Be careful about the items you keep for storage, however. It may be tempting to get rid of nothing and work around your downsizing by putting many things in storage, but your new home will likely have fewer storage options than your current home.
The good news is that you can take steps to maximize how much storage space you will have in your new home. Start by thinking about space you can use for this purpose that is not necessarily storage space. For example, crawl spaces and tiny rooms, closets, or gaps under stairs are great for storing things.
You can also add storage space by using certain items. For example, you can consider buying furniture that fits this purpose.
In addition, ottomans and many beds will often include ways to store things within them, thus doubling the use of the space they take up. You can also set up a lot of floating shelves, cabinets, and hooks on your walls to use all three dimensions.
Measure Out Your New Home for Furniture
If you do not already own furniture that doubles up as storage, you may need to buy some whether you need the extra storage space or not.
If you are still looking at potential homes to buy and do not want to purchase new furniture, make sure to measure out the latest homes to be certain that your existing furniture will be able to fit and be arranged in the way that you want.
If you do not mind buying new furniture or have already been offered a new home, that is fine, but you will still need to measure up the new place to see how it lines up with your current furniture.
You do not want to move a lot of couches, tables, and beds to the new house only to find out right there that they will not fit.
By figuring this out ahead of time, you can donate or sell your old furniture straight from your old house and have new furniture ready to be delivered to your new home by the time you are prepared to move in.
Don’t Leave It All for the Last Minute
If you need to downsize for financial reasons, do not hold off on it. It will only make the process more difficult if you leave it until your means are stretched too thin. It can be painful, but knowing you have to start at some point is better done sooner than later.
If you already have your new home lined up and are just waiting for the move date, start your inventory nice and early. Even if the move date is months away, you will be surprised at how quickly it can creep up on you. Choose just one drawer a day or one room a week, and when the move arrives, you will be much more ready for it.
A Simpler Life Now has more great downsizing tops.
Take Photos or Videos of Your Old Home
A common regret that people have after downsizing is not taking enough photos or videos of their old home.
It is easy to think that you do not need them, but human memory is imperfect, and your memories of your old home will begin to fade. So, preserve all those special moments forever with one last round of photography.
Downsizing your home can be both a huge decision and a complicated process, but if you keep these five tips in mind while working through it, you can ensure that the whole thing will go as smoothly as possible, giving you the best start in your new home.
Image by [Artazum] via [Shutterstock.com].