Downsizing is never easy, whether you’re doing it yourself or helping someone else – such as a parent or an elderly relative – do it. Downsizing not only involves a physical change in your environment, it also means giving up many of the things that have always meant something to you. With the right attitude and planning, however, you can make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.
Consider these tips for successful downsizing:
- Find a new home
This is the most important step in the process. You need to look for a new place to live in and make the necessary arrangements to move there. In choosing your new home, consider a number of things, including how to finance the purchase or the rent, your mobility, health and medical needs, proximity to places that are important to you, the lifestyle you want to have, and more.
Your options include a nursing home, an assisted-living facility, an active senior community, a condo or townhome that’s easier to manage, a smaller single-family home, and others. If you need help in finding the right place, get in touch with Miscella Real Estate here or call 630-232-1570.
- Start planning early
Start planning and implementing your plans even before putting up your present home for sale. An early start gives you some elbow room for unexpected events and reduces the pressure to get everything done at once.
Include the method of transportation in your plans. Do you need to hire a moving service? Can family or friends take some of the items to their next destination? Can you arrange with your neighborhood association to pick up items for disposal?
- Decide what to do with the things you’re not taking with you
You probably have some heirloom pieces that you want to pass on to your children or grandchildren. As for the rest, look into how you can you can best dispose of them even before you sort your belongings. Your options include selling them in a garage sale or on eBay, donating to charity, or disposing of them through your neighborhood’s waste disposal system. You might also rent a storage unit where you can keep things temporarily and decide what to do with them at a later time.
- Sort your belongings and de-clutter room by room
Armed with boxes and containers, comb through each room and sort items into the following:
- What you need to keep
- What you’re giving away to family and friends
- What’s going to charity
- What you can sell
- What to throw away
- What to keep in a storage unit, if any
You may begin with the most important rooms in the house, including the bedrooms, the dining area, the kitchen, and the living room. You may also opt to start at the basement or attic where most of the unused or least used items are typically stored.
- Ask yourself questions in sorting your belongings
Questions you need to ask yourself as you sort your things include:
- Do I really use this? When was the last time I used it?
- Do I have something similar that I can use instead?
- Is this something I love?
- Is this something a family member, a relative, or a friend will love or can use?
- Does it have financial value?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Is it in good condition? If not, can it be repaired and how much will it cost to repair?
- Will it fit in the same room in my new home? Is there room for this in the new house?