How to downsize your home
WHETHER you’re moving from a palatial estate to a downtown apartment or you’re moving in with a significant other, down- sizing is in order. Moving from a large home full of your stuff to a smaller space can be tricky, and while it’s easy to say “just get rid of your extra stuff,” doing it is much harder. Here’s how to make the transition tion as smooth as possible.
Over the past few ew years, many people have downsized not t because they want to, but because the e housing market crashed. Others (myself yself included) opt to live in a smallermaller space because it’s in a desirableesirable neighbourhood, close to work, or downtownwn near amenities.
The two biggest costost concerns when lookinging for a place to live aree size and location, and regardlessegardless of why you’re downsizing,wnsizing, there are some wayss to make the move easy.
Before you do anything nything — before you even movee and know how much space youou have to move into, the first thing to do is take a close inventoryntory of your belongings. Ask yourself,ourself, If everything you ownedned was lost in a fire, what t would you replace? Take stocktock of the things that are e actually important to you, u, and the things that youu could live without, or could uld actually replace or downsizeownsize along with your livingng space.
Ideally, you’ll makeake three lists: Must haves, can live withouts, and things I could replace.
Your must haves obviously need to come with you. Your “live withouts” are the things you could sell, donate, or get rid of entirely in some fashion—or at the very least aren’t necessary. That doesn’t mean you’ll get rid of them,e ,js just thata if space becomeseco es a co concern,ce , they’re the first ones to go.
Your “could replace” list should be reserved for things that you could potentially sell and buy something smaller that you’d like, like a smaller TV instead of the massive wall-hogging monster you have now, or space-saving furniture compared to the huge sec sectionalo a co couchc a and reclinersec e s yo you mayay own today.
Plus, taking a full inventory of your things is a great way to make a detailed home inventory, for that renter’s or homeowner’s
insurance that you
should absolutely have.
If you’re moving into a smaller space with someone else and combining households, this step is even more important, not just for you, but for the person you’re moving in with as well. Go through your inventories together. Be ruthless with your lists, too— it’s often said that the things you own expand to fill the space you live in, but the opposite, that they contract to fit nicely, never happens.
The next step is to part with those things that you don’t need and sell them for cash. After all, the core part of downsizing is to downsize, so try to make as mu much money from the things you won’t take w with you as possible. The more money you make, the more you’ll be able to buy thing things that are size appropriate for your new home,hom or save the money and enjoy your new li life in your smaller space.
Similarly, think about some of the things you own that are just “insurance” items. For example, an extra mattress in the garage, or the futon in the basement—those things you keep for no reason other than the possibility of something you do use every day breaking.
Those are prime candidates to sell: The things you’re keeping are only de depreciating in value. You’ll do yourself a favor by stashing the money you get from them in a savings account and buying a couch or a futon if you ever need one instead of holdingho on to an old, musty one just in case.
Decluttering and downsizing is hard, make no mistake — selling thin things makes it easier because honestly, wh who doesn’t like money? If you need more he help though, check out our guide to kicking yo your clutter habit for tips to make the whittli whittling process as easy as possible. Similarly, i if you’re a clotheshorse and your problem c comes from your wardrobe, we have some spec specific tips to help you out there, too.
Finally, whatever you do, if you can’t sell it, don’t hesitate to donate it to charity. If you can’t make use of it and it’s in good condition, someone else will, and the they’ll appreciate it. — Lifehacker.
GETTING into a smaller home may pay off, but do your homework first.