There reaches a time in every parent’s life when their kids get ready to move away from home. Whether it’s off to school or into an apartment, eventually they will move away for good. This leaves parents with the question of what to do afterwards? They wonder how they will deal with all of this extra space and extra furniture. Often it’ll go unused. For many, the realization of this unused space makes them think of downsizing their home.
The first steps to thinking about whether or not you think you will need to downsize are to ask yourself if your kids will be moving back anytime soon. It is much more common now for students or even adults to move back in with their parents after living on their own. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind, when you think about downsizing.
If you have determined that it is the right time to downsize your home, here are some helpful tips.
Measure before and after
If you have the opportunity, go over to your new place and measure out each of the rooms with a tape measure. This will give you a good indication of what you can and cannot bring into your new home. Make sure to make a diagram of each room, with the furniture that you plan to have in there. Having a layout of the room before you begin will make putting your furniture away on moving day that much easier.
Get some helping hands
Try to get a few helping hands to assist you throughout the downsizing process. It’ll take a while so they may not need to be there for every step, but having a few friends or family on hand can certainly help when you’re trying to move some of your bigger or bulkier items. It’s especially helpful if your kids who are moving are able to help, as they will be able to make the sorting of items easier by distinguishing what they’d like to keep or find to be useful.
Sort your items
As you begin to downsize, you’ll need to go through a lot of items in your home. It’s important to create a plan of attack to handle this job and sorting your things will help you distinguish if you will have a use for the item in your new place. Categorize each item as a save, donate, yard sale or a throwaway item.
Before you sort each item into a category, ask yourself the following:
- Am I in love with this item? Have I worn or used it in the past year.
- Is it sentimental to you or your family?
- Am I keeping this item out of obligation? Is it worth the burden?
- Is it broken? Can it be fixed? How much effort or money would this cost me?
- Do I own more than one of these?
This section of items is for things that you simply cannot live without and will include the bulk of your items. They could include items that are either extremely sentimental to you like a family heirloom or something that’s essential to you, such as cooking pots and pans.
Donate or hold a yard sale
This section of items is meant for anything that can still be used, but you believe that your family has no use for anymore. Often these items are old clothes, outdated appliances or large furniture items, but could also include items that you will be unable to take over to your new home.
Reach out to charities and see which ones are willing to take your donation and organize drop off times with their team.
Additionally, organizing a yard sale can be a good way to make some extra money during your downsizing process. Organizing a couple of yard sale times can usually clear out most of the items that you wanted to get rid of.
Sometimes there are items that are just not working, that charities won’t take or you simply think that won’t be of use to anyone else. It’s important to dispose of these items in the appropriate way or by recycling them. See what recycling programs your municipality offers. Most will have an option to drop off larger items such as couches, or computers.
Storing your items
After you have downsized your home, you still may be challenged with a lack of storage space in your new home. Explore the storage options that your new home offers you. See what nooks, crannies, and hidden spaces could be optimal for storing your items. Spots in your home like an oddly shaped closet can be transformed into a valuable storage area with the addition of some shelves and storage bins.
Moving let alone downsizing can be a huge undertaking for everyone involved. We hope that with these tips, your downsizing process will go as smoothly as possible.