6 Tips for Downsizing

Are you thinking about a smaller home? Maybe the kids have gone off to school, or you want to move from a multi-floor home into a single level home? Pat can help!

De-cluttering your home or downsizing before a move is hard work and can be emotionally taxing.

Items you worked hard to buy or were given to you as gifts can have sentimental value or help you feel safe in case of an emergency.

Use these tips to help you get organized and prepare for a move to a smaller home.

1. Take Inventory

What do you have? Let’s make a list.

Take photos of your rooms and all your things. This is good for home or renter’s insurance later. Just some photos on your phone should be fine.

Now that you know what you have and where it is, we can start to make some decisions.

2. How to Decide What Can Go

The easiest place to start is to take your inventory and make a list of things that you can get rid of without much thought.

  • Do you have things that are broken or worn out?
  • Do you have items that are just too large or heavy to move into a new home?
  • What non-sentimental items do you have in your home that, if they were lost you wouldn’t replace?

3. Organize Your Inventory List

You’ve removed any easy to get rid of items from your list. Now it’s time to sort out the rest of it!

Sort your list into “Must Have”, “Can Live Without” and “Could be Replaced.”

“Could be Replaced,” doesn’t mean you’re getting rid of it. It just means it’s things you could possibly replace with a different item or purchase again if you decided you needed it later. For example, maybe replacing a large couch with a recliner, or a rear projection TV with a flat-screen. Maybe that old work-out equipment will be replaced by a gym in your new neighborhood community center.

These will let you know what you have that MUST go with you and then you can work down from there once you know how much space you will have in your new home.

4. Figure Out How Much Space You Need/Have

Your real estate agent can help you understand what the size of your new home will be compared to what you have. The shape of your new home and the amount of storage space will matter to what you can keep.

Perhaps you will have more storage for smaller items, but need to get rid of some larger pieces of furniture? In a case like this you could swamp out couches for chairs, or a dining room table for a smaller one.

Once you know the amount of room you will be working with, it will be easier to understand what you can take with you.

5. Sell, Donate, or Recycle?

If there are items you are not keeping that you want to get rid of, you should make 3 more “piles” of these items. The ones you will sell, items for donation, and things that will go to a landfill or recycling center.

If you are going to sell items, a garage sale or community yard sale can be a great way to earn some money to buy replacements for larger items with smaller ones. There are also online options, such as eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

Donating items to charities will get you taxable donation receipts which you can use to offset your tax burden. This can be very helpful if there is going to be a capital gain in selling your property.

Your realtor will know who can help you with things like moving, organizing and storage.

6. Bring Help

Downsizing can be emotional. It’s often hard to let go of items. Most often a friend or family member can help you realize that some things you just don’t need anymore. There are also certified professional organizers who can help you sort out what’s no longer needed.

That spare bike you never ride, or the old tires you still have in the garage, the old car you never got around to restoring, or the exercise bike that has become a clothing rack.

Pat Can Help

It’s a tough process, but talking to a realtor like Pat can help get you pointed in the right direction.

He has been through this process with many people in many situations and he knows what works.

Pat also has the local contacts. Where to donate items, local charities, estate sales, auctions, movers, organizers, and any other help you need with your downsizing.

Kristen’s Story

During a tough market, Pat was patient and helpful while we searched for the right house in the right location. After many viewings and a handful of rejected offers, we were finally successful. I would recommend working with Pat.Kristen B.