Do you see downsizing on your horizon? Whether your house is starting to feel a little too big or you’re ready to tap into your home equity, the process is bound to come with some challenges. The truth is, it’s never easy to leave a place where you’ve lived happily and made memories.
The good news is, there are ways to make selling your family home and purchasing a smaller space easier. If you approach it in the right way, you may even begin to see this transition as an exciting one!
Here are our top tips for making your downsizing journey as smooth and low-stress as possible…
Embrace it as an opportunity
Imagine taking all the time you spend mowing your lawn or shovelling your walkway and using it to explore your interests instead. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Now, picture yourself in a less-cluttered living space, one that’s within walking distance of trendy eateries, shops, and theatres. It’s a good feeling, isn’t it? Lastly, envision the travelling you would do, the lifestyle you would live, or the family members you would help if you had more money.
The truth is, there are a lot of great things about downsizing (and we’re not just saying that because we’re glass-half-full people). Having said that, it’s natural to think about what you’re giving up when you’re downsizing, and that’s okay. Just remember that there’s something wonderful around the corner.
Take time to organize
Of course, before you can start enjoying the benefits of downsizing, you’ll need to deal with all your stuff. From the old records and clothing you can’t seem to get rid of to the paperwork you’ve never got around to sorting through, it has a way of piling up.
When you’re decluttering, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. You’ll likely need a few weeks, if not a couple of months, to get the job done.
There are all kinds of decluttering tips out there, but some of our favourites include assessing one room at a time, getting rid of duplicate items and those you haven’t used in over a year, and working in short bursts. Setting a timer for 15 minutes can help!
Lastly, you may want to enlist the help of close friends and family, since talking about your memories can make decluttering more rewarding. Don’t forget that a dedicated REALTOR® can help you, too. We’re always there to assist our clients in any way we can!
Honour your memories
We’ve already touched on this, but it’s really important. Moving onto a new chapter in life doesn’t have to mean abandoning your past. In fact, it can provide an opportunity to pay homage to it. That means holding onto what matters and thinking of ways to display it in your new home.
One fun option is creating a gallery wall using your photos. Choosing a colour palette for your frames can make your display feel cohesive, while experimenting with different sizes and placements will give it a one-of-a-kind feel.
If you have a lot of personal keepsakes and knick knacks, consider placing them on floating shelves. You may also want to reconsider some items that have long been packed away. You may find that the quilt from your grandmother actually looks stylish on your new sofa!
Work with the right team
Downsizing well is about buying and selling seamlessly—at the same time. There’s no shortage of logistics involved, and it’s nearly impossible to tackle them without the right experts. That could mean everyone from a reputable lender and lawyer to a professional cleaner, stager, and landscaper.
Moving into a smaller space also means envisioning a new lifestyle while dealing with any difficult feelings that may arise. A little guidance and a helping hand can go a long way.
Fortunately, the right REALTOR® will have a network of trusted local professionals who can help—plus they’ll have worked with downsizers before. We know firsthand how complicated the process can be, and we’re here to answer any questions you have about working with a team.
Your belongings will have to fit into less square footage when you downsize. A thorough decluttering can help a lot, but what about the larger items you plan to bring with you? Your furniture and large appliances will need to move through doors and hallways—and fit into your new space without making you feel cramped.
Our best advice is to break out the tape measure when you find a place that interests you. How much square footage does it have versus your current home? Don’t forget to consider how much room you’ll need to feel comfortable. Ideally, you should have around two and a half feet of space between large pieces of furniture. When it comes to the chairs around a table, you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of elbow room.
Opt for smart storage
Last but not least, no matter how much stuff you get rid of, you’ll probably need plenty of new places to store your belongings. We’ve already mentioned floating shelves. By affixing them directly to the wall, you can avoid the cramped feeling that comes with having too much furniture.
Do your downsizing plans include shopping? If so, consider items that serve double duty. Examples include ottomans with built-in storage and couches that contain hidden drawers. By choosing the right pieces, you can help keep your space feeling uncluttered.
Downsizing is a complicated process, but we feel strongly that it’s an enjoyable one. It can also be the key to building a happy future! Whether you need advice, a helping hand, or someone to talk to, we’re here for you while you make this transition.