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Downsizing For A Simpler Less Cluttered Life
Downsizing is one of those “I’ll-get-around-to-it” necessities that people often have a hard time seeing through. The idea of it is simple enough: to get rid of objects and clutter that no longer serve any useful purpose. To simplify by subtraction and achieve peace of mind. But many find it’s not that simple. The physical act of throwing out so many belongings, items that once had meaning and sentimental value, is rarely as easy as it seems. Who has the heart to throw out their daughter’s first ballet slippers, or a son’s Little League baseball glove?
The right house for you
Downsizing, then, is as much about mindset as it is about clearing out a living space. The same can be said of leaving the old family home and moving into a considerably smaller house. It’s not easy leaving behind a lifetime of memories but you may find it necessary for financial, health, or family considerations. In deciding to downsize, you should take into account the difference in living expenses to determine whether it’ll be worth moving. Your ultimate aim should be to find a comfortable home that won’t require as much maintenance and upkeep expense.
You may be moving to a smaller, more convenient space, but you still need to factor in the possibility of modifications to the kitchen and bathroom. These are typically the two rooms most likely to need remodeling, and they’re typically the costliest.
It’s important that the belongings you take with you suit the size and layout of your new home. Since homeowners spend 80 percent of their time in the kitchen and adjoining rooms, consider starting by getting rid of things that would normally cause clutter in these more frequented parts of the house. The rest is a matter of detailed organization or, more to the point, categorization.
Putting it all together
Arrange your possessions by category. This will make it easier to determine exactly what you have and how much it’s worth, especially the more expensive objects, like furniture. Think about how much space larger possessions will take up in a smaller home. Consider selling, donating or giving away that old couch or rarely used recliner if it won’t fit comfortably in a smaller-sized room. If you’re planning to go with a different interior decor when you move, figure out which items will fit and which will clash with your new look.
There are certain objects you can get rid of without much consideration or debate. The books and videos that accumulate over the years take up a great deal of space, so taking them with you doesn’t make much sense. Many book stores will buy used books and videos, or you can donate them to charitable organizations or shelters. Take the same approach with your closets, which probably contain clothes, shoes and other apparel that no longer fits and can be donated a local charity of your choice.
Be sure to organize any important documents by digitizing them using a scanner so something you can’t afford to lose doesn’t fall out of a box or folder. In addition to important paperwork, you can also digitize dvds, cds, old photos, and artwork.
However you approach it, downsizing is a big job. If you find yourself overwhelmed by it all, consider hiring a professional organizer.
An honest appraisal
Downsizing is a big decision, one that requires a careful consideration of how much space you need, what you should take with you, and what can be discarded. An honest and objective appraisal can help ensure that you’ll enjoy the benefits of less space and less house to maintain.
Thanks to Gene Ramsey from DownsizingDad.com for this article. For more articles on downsizing, please visit his website.
It is essential to find a home that suits your personal tastes and accentuates a style you identify with. As your Realtor, I focus on the little things as well as the entire picture to ensure that the....