There are plenty of reasons why you might want to downsize. Maybe the kids have moved out or you no longer use the space the way you used to. Whatever your reason for wanting to downsize, there's a right and a wrong way to do it.
But many people who downsize often make a few mistakes along the way, including the following.
Waiting Far Too Long to Downsize
Many people simply sit on the fence when making the decision to downsize. Long after the kids have moved out, the home is often far too big for the remaining homeowners to use. That's a lot of wasted space that is costing money to keep heated and cooled. All that time spent in a larger home could have been spent in a property that is better suited for the owners.
Perhaps the biggest mistakes that sellers make is waiting too long to take the plunge. A lot of people wind up waiting until it's much more difficult to make the move, such as when illness sets in or a spouse passes away. The time to make the move is right after the kids have vacated the premises and you are still in good health.
You should be planning ahead to downsize in the near future so that it is more of a lifestyle choice rather than a necessity. That way it will be easier to move and settle into a new home, as well as give you time to actually enjoy your new lifestyle.
Giving Their Kids Too Much Time to Claim Your Belongings
When you downsize, you're likely not going to have as much room to house all of your belongings. As such, you will likely want to purge certain items and leave behind only things that will be able to fit in your new, smaller home.
It's natural to want to give away your valuables to your kids, but how long are you going to keep your things before your kids decide to take them? If your kids want your sofa, armoire, or dining room set, give them a time limit to make the decision to take it or leave it. You've got to move at some point, so the sooner you can get rid of these items, the better.
Focusing on the Entire Home All at Once
It can be pretty overwhelming to deal with all of your belongings in your home at once. Rather than taking this approach, consider spreading out your duties so you can tackle them one at a time. Try focusing on one room at a time, eliminating all the things that you likely won't need once you move into your new home.
Throwing Things Out Instead of Donating
It can be tempting and seemingly easier to just toss everything you no longer need in the dumpster. Sure, a lot of things will probably need to be tossed out, but there will likely be certain items that are still good enough for other people to enjoy. In this case, you may want to donate them instead. Ask your friends or family members first to see if there are any takers in your circle. After that, call up centres that may be interested in taking what you have to offer.
Assuming Everything Will Fit Properly in Your New Home
Before you decide to keep certain pieces of furniture and use them to outfit your new home, you will want to take careful measurements of each room in your new place first. Then, you'll need to measure the furniture pieces that you want to take with you to ensure that they will actually fit. To make this easier for you, there are virtual room tools online that you can use to help you determine how to arrange the furniture in your new home.
Holding Onto Things For Sentimental Reasons Only
Of course, there are certain things that you will want to keep, especially when it comes to your children. But most things are just that - things. The real value is in the people and the relationships that you share, not necessarily the stuff that we tend to store because we have special memories tied to them.
Holding onto to too many things will make it a lot more difficult to make your transition, so do yourself a favour and get rid of them now to help make your move a lot easier.
Downsizing should be a time of freedom. Many people who downsize end up feeling so free that they wish they had done it sooner. But downsizing can still make sellers dread the process, especially when it comes to leaving their memories behind. But if you avoid making the above mistakes when you are downsizing, the process can be a lot smoother and easier.