If you are considering downsizing from your Windsor home this year, you know that it can be a stressful situation and maybe that is what is holding you back. However, it doesn’t have to be. Many homeowners are shifting to a lifestyle that doesn’t include hefty mortgage payments, large utility bills and high maintenance. Keep these cost savings in mind when the thought of moving becomes overwhelming. The improved quality of life for those who have made the move makes most wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.
Look at it this way:
A simpler life requires less money
This is obvious. A simpler lifestyle can give you more money to play with in your budget and allow you to focus on savings, college tuition, paying down debt or planning that wonderful vacation.
Buying what you no longer need or will use is a wonderful feeling, so says the many clients who have downsized. Because you need less, you buy less and your hard-earned money starts working for you.
Less clutter means clearer mind
They say that a well-organized person is more creative. This is true. If your home is full of “stuff” it’s hard to see anything else and your mind goes on overload. If you have ever organized your closet, then you know how freeing that is. Imagine living like that daily.
If however, you are still on the fence regarding moving, you may want to answer these questions:
1. Are there rooms that you currently don’t use in your home? The experts say that if you use a room fewer than six times a year, then it can be a room you do without.
2. Use the square footage of the room you are no longer using and subtract from total square footage. This is the size of home you should consider when downsizing.
3. People often feel that if they don’t live in a large home with all of the bells and whistles, then they are missing out. Don’t let this persuade you. The benefits of downsizing are why thousands upon thousands are doing it every year. And as I mentioned above, almost every, single client loves their new lifestyle.
So now that you know you want to downsize, how can you make your experience easier on the nerves? Be prepared and organized.
1. Make a list of what you must keep
When downsizing, you can’t take everything with you. Walk around your house and make note of what absolutely must move with you. For most, it’s precious family antiques or keepsakes. But if you don’t have a strong tie to a piece of furniture or your closet is overfilled with clothes, then get rid of it.
2. Start early
Don’t wait until the last-minute to start weeding out your belongings. Donate a few hours during the weekend and a little each day. Go through your paperwork and shred anything that you no longer need. The same goes for photos. One client had boxes full of family photos. Three months before she moved, she devoted an hour every day to sort through them. She ended up throwing away duplicates and pictures of people she didn’t even know. She now has one box neatly organized from the seven she had previously.
3. Consider what you really need
The kitchen is often the place where people are able to downsize quickly. For example, most people don’t need, nor do they want, a dozen mixing bowls. How many place settings of dishes do you really use? Chances are, you have a cupboard full of drinking glasses that you don’t want either. The good thing about downsizing your kitchen, rarely do these items have sentimental value.
4. And don’t forget the garage
If you are downsizing to a condo, you won’t need lawn equipment, including shovels or ladders. That ping-pong table or trampoline? They can go as well. Have a large yard sale and make some money from the items you no longer want.
5. Ask a friend or family member
If you are unsure if you really want to keep something, ask a friend or family member. You will need their honesty. Sometimes it just takes one person to say, “Oh you will never use that again!” to give us the courage to actually get rid of something.
6. Organize in bins
In each room have three bins and a large trash bag. Each bin should be labeled: Keep, Sell, Charity. Other items that don’t fall into these categories should be thrown away. Once a room is clear, you can move to the next.
Now that you have what you want, make sure that your furniture will fit by measuring to see that it will fit in your new space. One client forgot to measure her refrigerator and, you guessed it, it didn’t fit. It’s now used from the garage. Make a floor plan once you have these measurements and this will give you a great idea if your furniture will make the move with you.
Of course, the decision to downsize can be a tough one, even if it makes all the sense in the world. But most everyone does it at some point and the benefits can be substantial.