When’s the best time to begin Downsizing?

 

What’s not to love about downsizing? Cheaper utility bills, fewer rooms to clean, a cozier feeling all around. When you’re downsizing, you may also qualify for a higher pension based on your assets, and even free up some cash which could go towards a vacation escape.

 

But, like with any big life change, the move itself can be a somewhat stressful process – if you let it be. Below are five ways to help make the process as stress-free as possible, to let you get back to enjoying your new and cozier home.

Don’t forget to consult the family

 

If you’re moving out of the family home, or a home that the family is very familiar with, then every family member may feel they have some skin in the game. There are likely to be a lot of attachments to the house or apartment. And while your mind may already be made up, filling family in on your reasons for wanting to move, and who you will be selling to, may lessen the blow somewhat. So, don’t wait until you have financing lined up to find out that your spouse, or children, will be devastated by a change in scenery. Hold a family meeting and make sure everyone is on board with the big decision before getting started.

 

Determine your new location’s “must haves.” The location of your new home could make or break home much you enjoy your new living arrangements. So, it’s important to figure out what will add to your personal quality of living, according to what you enjoy about different locations. This might include such factors as: proximity to public transport, a beach or walking tracks nearby, great local cafes, a quiet street, a vibrant neighborhood, lots of neighbors, not many neighbors –  the list is completely up to you! Document your findings before hitting the housing market and start your search with your wish list in mind. Don’t rush the process.

 

For some homeowners, it may be tempting to “sell the farm” and take the cash quickly. But with it unlikely there will be any drastic property market crash anywhere in the very near future, there’s really no reason to rush anything. Take your time with your sale, and your new purchase, to ensure you are getting the deal you deserve on both.

 

Document your valuables. If you are like most people, you may have dozens of valuables scattered throughout your home. And while some of these may be monetary valuables, what we’re referring to here are the family keepsakes and heirlooms you could be devastated if you misplaced.Take the time to document these valuables – before the movers show up. And if you have some truly valuable items, you might want to consider moving them yourself, so you know they won’t get lost in the mayhem.

Clear the deck

Any move is a great opportunity to clear out the junk. Use the move to get rid of items you no longer use: hold a garage sale, put items on Ebay, or donate valuables to a local charity or non-profit.

It will simplify your move, and your old junk might even make someone else’s day!

 

Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned to help you get started:

 

  1. Start small, but start!

Don’t think you’re going to tackle downsizing your home in one fast swoop! It took time to accumulate all of your treasures and it’s going to take time to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Select a small area and begin!

  1. Things will look worse before they look better!

The best way to begin downsizing is to select a closet, or a drawer or a shelf. Remove everything from the space, look at each item and, before you put it back, ask yourself three questions: Do I want it? Do I need it? Will I still use it?

  1. Let go of things you don’t want, use or need… NOW!

When you have household items and furniture to get rid of, call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to make a donation. There are other alternative options like churches that help low-to-no income families as well. What are more options available? Giving it away may work for some but it’s not always an option. Likewise, selling stuff on any of the numerous websites seems easy but the price has to be right and you have to be willing to negotiate price and delivery which can take time.

  1. When you buy something new, let go of the old!

There is no point in buying a new toaster if you are going to keep the old one. Either it works or it doesn’t…figure it out!

  1. Ask for help!

When the task seems daunting, ask a friend or family member to help. When you work with someone who is not emotionally attached to your stuff, you will find it easier to let go. If you don’t feel your family can be objective enough, contact a local organizing expert to keep you focused and on task.

  1. Your family does not want your stuff!

Your furniture and accessories may bring back wonderful memories…for you. When you are downsizing and moving, select items you really treasure to take to your new home. Tastes change and younger family members likely have different ideas of home décor than you do.

  1. “It’s better to give with warm hands, than cold.”

This statement means that if someone likes one of your treasures almost as much as you do, consider giving it away NOW and watch them enjoy it. You will feel wonderful knowing someone is treasuring something that was so important to you.

 

When you take the first steps to clear clutter, you’re on your way to reclaiming your home and your life!