Thinking of downsizing your home? Check out the top tips from an expert.

Have you been getting the urge to downsize your home? Well, you’re not alone. Many many people are thinking about the same thing. And why not? It feels great to have exactly the amount of home that you actually need. But if you want to have a seamless transition as you downsize there are some things you can do that will make the process much less painful.

Empty nesters are downsizing at a very high rate. There are many reasons that it might feel like it’s the right time and that it makes sense to reduce the number of physical possessions that you keep on-hand. For many, it’s that their children are leaving home. Some are getting out of marriages. Some have retired and so they don’t have the same amount of money coming in each month.

But whatever your reason for downsizing, we have some great tips that will help with the journey. 

Get Started

The hardest thing to do is just to get started. You might be pondering this move. Maybe you haven’t yet sold your old home, but when you look around your house or peer into your garage, it can feel overwhelming. Let’s not even mention taking a look into the old storage unit!

But you just have to get started. Our expert recommends starting small. Pick a sock drawer. Clean out your guest room closet. Whatever it is, do what you can. You’ll never get anywhere without taking that first step.

What Paperwork Do You Really Need

From old mortgage statements to tax returns from more than 10 years ago, we often keep paperwork in that old filing cabinet that we don’t need anymore.

But you can’t take that with you when you downsize, so go through it all and find only what’s most essential and are assets that you currently own. If you really have a lot you can even hire a professional shredding company that will come to your property pick up your old papers.

Organize Your Photos

There are many things you definitely don’t need to take with you when you downsize. But things like photographs can be extremely sentimental and important to you and your family. So what can you do? Try to remove any photos with folks that aren’t as important to your life anymore.

Another quick tip is to write notes on the back of photographs, this will help you organize them.

Does This Item Have A Spot In Your New Home

One of the easiest ways to determine if something should move with you to your new smaller abode, or if it should get left behind is to visualize exactly where in your new home this item would go?

Does it have a spot? Does it make sense in the new space? If not, it’s probably time to let it go!

Collectibles Can Take Up A Lot Of Space

My father-in-law has been collecting cartoon statuettes for decades. He and his wife recently decided to downsize and make a move to Arizona. What did our expert say was the best thing he could do? Look through the collection and take just his favorites with him. 

That advice would apply to anyone with these types of collections. Just pick the top few that you enjoy the most, that perhaps have a sentimental spot in your heart or that are the most valuable.

Don’t Buy More Stuff

This might seem obvious, but if you’re dedicated to downsizing, you really shouldn’t be making any new purchases that will just take up more space. Now that certainly doesn’t mean you should never get anything new, it’s just that if you plan on replacing something, it be just that. Replace that item, don’t keep both.

Decide Where Your Old Possessions Will Go

Every item you’ve purchased over the years was purchased for a reason. Many folks want to make sure that those possessions go to a good place. Come up with a plan for where your items will go.

Maybe some of your items will go to family members, maybe some will go to non-profit thrift stores, or maybe you’ll have a rummage sale and donate the proceeds. Whatever it is, decide ahead of time where you want your old possessions to go.

Don’t Give Like a Grinch

Once you’ve decided where your old possessions will go, just give freely. Don’t try to find out where those possessions went, or if the new owners took care of them.

This process is about liberation, letting go of the past and moving on into a simpler and more enjoyable life.

Don’t Think You Need To Keep Things For The Next Generation

A lot of times, we like to think that our children or our children’s children will want our possessions; so we put them away for the day that they grow up and have their own house. But the likelihood is that by the time that happens styles will have changed and those gifts will be more of a burden than a help. Instead, save or reinvest the money you would have spent on storage and give that as a gift when the day comes.

Keep Only The Essentials

How do you quantify what’s essential? There are a few good questions you can ask yourself. Is this something you actually even want? We often keep things because we think we’re supposed to, not because we actually want it.

Will you use it or do you need it? If not, it probably doesn’t need to come with you.

Do you like to look at it? A piece of art might not be something you absolutely need or will use, but if it brings you joy and is just something that makes your life better, that might be something you want to keep.

Take Lots Of Photos Of Your Home During The Planning Phase

Taking photos can be a great exercise to take a look at the before and after. Plus, with how we store all our photos on our smartphones these days, it doesn’t take up any extra space! This can also help you with deciding what should go.

Whatever your journey and however you get there, we hope this article will be helpful to you!


REALTOR® DRE#02019329

(650) 867-9612