At some point, it may be time to consider downsizing your home. After the kids have well-established lives of their own, do you need to have those extra bedrooms to keep clean?
“While some people like the idea of staying put as empty nesters and seniors, a growing number of boomers are choosing to move to cities or bustling suburbs, according to the Urban Land Institute. In fact, about 72% of the Boomers surveyed in 2013 said they would rather live in a smaller house but have a shorter commute than live in a larger home and make a lengthy trek to the office. Plus, being in an urban area likely means easier access to stores and public transportation,” said John F. Sweeney
If that’s a situation you’re thinking about, you may want to start downsizing your possessions a few months before you move. It will be less to take move into the new home.
An important step to consider, if you have adult children who might be surprised their childhood home could go up on the market, make sure to have an open and honest conversation with them about your intended move. They will need to, “…build new memories and affinities away from their longtime center of gravity,” Sweeney explained.
If you de-clutter your home in stages, such as one room at a time, the job will seem easier and less time-consuming. “A cluttered home is the single most used excuse for not be able to move by people wishing to go to smaller quarters or to a retirement community. This may be a time to reflect, regroup and organize our lives so that we can age with the least amount of stress for ourselves and our families,” Dr. Natasha Josefowitz said.
If you want to downsize but you’re having problems with it, check out Marie Kondo’s book, Spark Joy. It’s a comprehensive, illustrated manual on how to de-clutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from the kitchen and more.
User-friendly line drawings illustrate her patented folding method as it applies to shirts, pants, socks, and jackets, as well as images of organized drawers, closets and cabinets. This manual is perfect for anyone who wants a home and life that sparks joy.
Got anything in the house that’s broken or stained? Those items should be tossed out.
For everything you plan on getting rid of, now is the time to ask your family or friends if there are certain pieces from the house they want.
If not, then do you want to donate and what do you want to sell? And if you decide to sell items, do you want to do that yourself, or do you want to have someone do it for you? Getting a trio of plastic totes, marked “Keep,” “Donate,” and, “Sell,” will keep you organized.
If you just can’t decide to do with an item, Josefowitz recommends giving yourself a firm date to make a final decision. Otherwise, everything you own could wind up in this category.
Once you know where you will be living, get the measurements of your new home. Measure all the rooms and doorways. Be prepared to let perfectly good items go because they are too large for your new space, or don't fit the new lifestyle you have planned for yourself.
Attached to items for which you have no space? Take photographs for a special album and let them go. If you give these things to family and friends, think about the joy they’ll bring to their new owners. And if you visit those families and friends, you still might be able to enjoy those items in their new homes.
What were some aspects of downsizing into a new smaller home that surprised you? Share with us in the comments! Thinking about buying this spring? Start your search with us!