Many sellers in today’s market, myself included, are getting ready to not only move but also downsize their lifestyle, fitting their new home to fit future needs. Downsizing, or right-sizing, means more than just “getting rid of “stuff” and finding a smaller home. It’s important to consider how you live now, how you want to live in your new home, what is important, what you need and what you can do without.
This should be a simple task, but too often downsizing doesn’t focus on the things that are really important. If you love to garden, need space for a pet or enjoy hosting impromptu dinners and holiday gatherings, select a home that provides enough space for how you want to live or you may find it frustrating to have to eliminate activities or traditions that are important to you. When searching for a new home don’t just look at the square footage – keep in mind how you will live in and use the space day-to-day now and in the future.
It’s safe to assume much of the furniture in your current home won’t fit into a smaller house or condo. The reality is that very few of your existing furniture pieces will make the move with you. You’ve heard the phrase “measure twice and cut once”. The same is true for furniture. Measure pieces you might want to move or purchase and then measure the doorways at your new home (twice) and don’t forget elevators, hallways and stairwells. The stress on moving day doesn’t need to include discovering the buffet won’t fit through the door.
If you think you ‘ve had enough garage sales or trips to deliver donations, think again. Don’t try to fill your new space with too much sentimental artwork or decor. Select a few statement or heirloom pieces and use them as the foundation to build the decor in your new home. Too much “stuff” will make a space look smaller.
When it comes to closets and clothing, think again about what you keep and what you could donate. We’ve all heard that saying that if you haven’t worn something in two seasons, let it go. Are you relocating to a different climate? A more casual lifestyle? You may not need heavy coats, as many shorts and flip-flops or blazers and dresses.
Moving and downsizing takes time, effort, focus and patience. It can be stressful, but can also be a positive experience. The next chapter of your life should be exciting and something you look forward to. After you’re settled in your new home, if you find you parted with something that you wish you’d kept, it can be replaced and maybe it will be the right size, color or style that is a better fit for your space. Embrace the change. Invite family and friends into your new home and start making new memories and traditions.